International Youth Day 2016: Engaging youth in the future of lifelong learning


12 August 2016

‘As we mark International Youth Day 2016, we must recognise youth as crucial players in the provision of lifelong learning opportunities, and accord them their place at the planning table in order to see to a sustainable future.’ Arne Carlsen, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning.  

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning has been promoting youth engagement and capacity building through its various projects and activities. An example in the African region is Zankey Faba, an e-platform to support vulnerable youth, such as those who drop-out of school and those associated with criminal youth groups. The platform connects policy makers, literacy facilitators and youth organisations and provides space to share best practice and identify and respond to learning needs.

Another project, led by the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE), builds on youth-led action research. The project aims to analyse young women’s barriers to participate in learning and education in India, the Philippines and Indonesia. Being led by youth in the respective countries, this approach promotes both involvement and self-led capacity building.

Local and national governments are also encouraged to involve youth in the building of learning cities, as manifested in the international Youth Statement on Learning Cities.

Apart from these activities, publications like Action research to improve youth and adult literacy and Youth Driving Community Education provide guidance and support to policy makers and practitioners to enhance youth engagement in lifelong learning.