UNESCO Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education now available in print

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© UNESCO
Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education
9 September 2016

UNESCO now has two frameworks to guide the development of adult learning and education (ALE) in its Member States: the Belém Framework for Action (BFA), which was the outcome document of the Sixth International Conference on Adult Learning and Education (CONFINTEA VI) in 2009, and the Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (RALE), which was adopted in 2015 along with the Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). RALE replaces the Recommendation on the Development of Adult Education (1976) and reaffirms the central role played by ALE in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Member States should now implement the Recommendation and further strengthen international cooperation in ALE.

RALE, which is now available in print, stresses the importance of:

  • a rights-based, participatory and discrimination-free approach to the design and implementation of policies and programmes;
  • ALE for the economy and the labour market;
  • improving the status of ALE and strengthening its function as an indispensable component of contemporary education systems;
  • ALE in terms of lifelong learning;
  • the foundational role of literacy;
  • recognizing, validating and accrediting non-formal and informal learning;
  • capacity-building and enhanced international cooperation.

RALE supports the role of ALE in providing adults with improved possibilities to participate in society and in the world of work. It focuses on three key aspects of ALE; these are: (1) literacy and basic skills; (2) continuing training and professional development; and (3) education and learning opportunities for active citizenship, variously known as community, popular or liberal education.

The Recommendation also reaffirms five areas of action outlined in the BFA with regard to ALE: (1) policy; (2) governance; (3) financing; (4) participation, equity and inclusion; and (5) quality. Furthermore, it underlines the need for strong international cooperation.

These areas crosscut the aforementioned three aspects of learning. RALE also supports the development of ICT-based education and advocates learning based on partnership, inclusion of vulnerable and marginalized groups, and participatory approaches to developing ALE curricula.

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