Building a Lifelong Learning System in the Islamic Republic of Iran

The Iranian government has committed to embedding lifelong learning into the national education policy, and to this end invoked a high-level workshop on lifelong learning, the first of its kind to be held in Iran.

The National Training Workshop on Innovative Concepts and Systems of Lifelong Learning was held from 11 to 14 February 2013, organised by the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, and the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office in Tehran. The National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office asked UIL, global centre of excellence for lifelong learning, to provide technical and conceptual assistance in preparing and holding the workshop.

The Workshop addressed both the Iranian context and an international perspective on lifelong learning, the latter which was implemented by a UIL team of experts. UIL’s contribution took a good practice approach, presenting a series of examples of successful lifelong learning policies in Asian and European countries. The UIL team comprised Jin Yang, Senior Programme Specialist and Rika Yorozu, Programme Specialist, along with two external consultants (Jørn Skovsgaard, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Children and Education of Denmark; and Professor Yadollah Mehralizadeh, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran). The Iranian contribution included presentations on policies and perspectives along with the Iranian educational, socio-economic and cultural context by leading researchers in Iran.

Over 40 representatives from ten ministries and institutions with responsibilities for human resource development exchanged experiences and generated new ideas to develop a lifelong learning society in Iran during the Workshop. The initial output of the proceedings was a proposal to set up a national committee on lifelong learning under the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO and an expert task force to develop a national policy framework on lifelong learning, along with a pledge from individual participants to (1) file a short report on the workshop to each respective minister/director; (2) write articles on lifelong learning and publish them in newspapers and journals in Iran; (3) organise internal workshops for colleagues in the ministries; (4) conduct empirical need assessment of learners; and (5) introduce several changes in policies to promote lifelong learning for all.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is well on track as regards the 2015 Education for All goals and education-related Millennium Development Goals. Fully integrating lifelong learning for all into the Iranian education and development system will significantly contribute to building coherent and holistic strategies beyond 2015. UIL will continue to provide technical support to the Islamic Republic of Iran with a focus on developing a national policy framework for implementing lifelong learning for all.

More information:

Concept note


Workshop Report

Second Workshop Report (October 2013)