International expert group proposes revision of the '1976 Recommendation on the Development of Adult Education'
The Recommendation on the Development of Adult Education, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in Nairobi in 1976, is the key normative instrument on adult education, providing guiding principles and a global approach for promoting and developing adult education in Member States. Its review and update have already been proposed on several occasions, more recently in the Belém Framework for Action, and UNESCO’s Executive Board adopted a plan of action to that end in late 2011. As a first step, a group of five experts from several world regions met at UIL on 10–11 July to explore and clarify technical and legal aspects of a potential revision, and provided key arguments for a decision to be taken later on by UNESCO’s governing bodies.
While the experts acknowledged the forward-looking and emancipatory spirit of the 1976 Recommendation, which has not lost its critical substance, they also underlined the need to re-formulate substantial parts in the light of the changed reality and new challenges for adult learning and education. They discussed related consequences concerning conceptual clarity (e.g. with regard to the definition of adult education, its objectives and key areas) and updating the language. In a next step, the proposals of the expert meeting will be broadly debated during an online consultation in September and subsequently submitted to UNESCO’s Executive Board.