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Second Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE)

  • November 2013

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) published its second Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE).  

Drawing on data gathered from 141 countries, it reviews progress in implementing the Belém Framework for Action and presents insights from all world regions. It adopts a global perspective, describing the commonalities and differences of Member States as they work to improve their adult education sectors. It is available in English, French and Spanish.

The Report shows that, despite progress in increasing the global numbers of literate people, many millions are still excluded from learning opportunities. Underlying this is a conceptual problem: the lack of a common global understanding of how to approach literacy. Many countries still favour quick “illiteracy eradication” campaigns, and most continue to use traditional methods (population censuses, household surveys, number of years of formal schooling) to estimate literacy rates. This reflects a tendency to approach literacy as a dichotomy, classifying people as either literate or illiterate. However, there is some indication of a growing awareness of existing limitations, and a growing understanding, as envisaged in the Belém Framework, that literacy is a continuum, a process that a learner engages in throughout life and in all areas of their life.

Some of the most important messages that emerge from the second GRALE are

  • that the lens of lifelong and life-wide learning provides the most promising perspective for addressing the literacy challenge;  
  • that there is a need to understand lifelong learning in its broadest sense; and
  • that several of the core messages of the Belém Framework for Action have found their way into national policy debates and reform processes.

Bibliography

  1. UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. 2013. Second Global Report on Adult Learning and Education: Rethinking Literacy - Summary and Recommendations. Hamburg, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning.

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Second Global Report on Adult Learning and Education: Rethinking Literacy (PDF 1.4 MB)

  • Author/Editor: UIL
  • Second Global Report on Adult Learning and Education: Rethinking Literacy
  • UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, 2013
  • ISBN
    978-92-820-1180-5
  • Available in: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese