IFAD-UNESCO study reaffirms the importance of integrated education and learning for rural youth

©UNESCO/Forbes, Inez

In 2013, UNESCO researched how youth in rural communities learn in Cambodia, Egypt and Ethiopia. This study also investigated how young people perceived learning for agricultural and rural livelihoods. The project was funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and its findings were presented at the IFAD-UNESCO Global Seminar on ‘Learning Knowledge and Skills for Agriculture and Improving Rural Livelihoods’ on 27 and 28 February 2014 in Paris.

Anna Robinson-Pant, Global Research Coordinator and Professor of Education at the University of East Anglia, UK, and country research team members presented the connections between learning, farming and employment in the lives of rural youth. They also outlined the obstacles faced by the poorest and least literate young people. This research highlights the gap between young peoples’ perception of rural development and the silo mentality often encountered among government departments and training service providers. In light of this, seminar participants discussed the need to have more integrated and holistic education and development policies and programmes. Solutions proposed at the meeting included a system for recognizing prior learning and involving youth in community-based learning centres.

At the seminar, UIL Director Arne Carlsen presented UIL’s past and future work on lifelong learning for young men and women. UIL Programme Specialist Rika Yorozu moderated a panel discussion entitled “How can young women and men be better equipped with desired knowledge and skills?”  

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