Intergenerational learning is not a new concept; it is deeply rooted in cultures and communities across the world. However, as a specialized approach to educational practice, it has emerged as a transformative means of tapping into the connections and interactions of family members in order to improve the literacy skills of adults, children and young people. Despite its fundamental focus on the development of literacy skills, the intergenerational approach has a range of other, wider benefits, promoting adults’ engagement in lifelong learning, while simultaneously improving children’s school attainment and self-confidence.
The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has long promoted family learning as a bridge between formal, non-formal and informal learning to effectively engage communities in lifelong learning and improve literacy skills. In the context of achieving the targets of Sustainable Development Goal 4, UIL has renewed its interest in promoting family literacy and learning across the world. With the generous financial support of the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, in 2017 UIL produced and disseminated resources on promising case studies, a set of policy recommendations, and guidelines on designing, implementing and evaluating quality, relevant and innovative family literacy and learning programmes. UIL has also started providing customized and systematic technical assistance to interested Member States, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa, on designing and piloting family literacy and learning approaches to improve the quality of literacy instruction and learning of adults and children.
As part of these efforts, UIL, in collaboration with the Gambia National Commission for UNESCO, the Ministry for Basic and Secondary Education and the UNESCO Regional Bureau in Dakar, will organize a technical workshop on family and intergenerational literacy and learning from 14 to 16 May 2018, in Banjul, the Republic of The Gambia.
Approximately 40 representatives of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, and particularly the directorates of early childhood education, early primary education and non-formal education, will attend the workshop to explore the main steps for designing, implementing and evaluating contextually relevant and quality family literacy and learning programmes in selected communities in The Gambia. Representatives of international development and community-based organizations and national universities will also participate in the workshop.
UIL will provide further support to implement this approach and develop contextually relevant models of family literacy programmes in the country.