The Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (RALE) is a landmark commitment by UNESCO Member States to promote and strengthen adult learning and education (ALE). Adopted in 2015, RALE sets out principles and goals for ALE, and identifies specific ways in which countries can make progress. The Recommendation calls on the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) to monitor progress through the Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE), to develop agreed indicators and to improve the mechanisms for international data collection on ALE.
The Recommendation reminds us that learning is a lifelong endeavour that can occur in formal, non-formal and informal settings. The ultimate goal is to ensure that adults can participate fully in societies and the world of work.
It identifies three key domains of learning and skills that are of central importance for ALE:
- Literacy and basic skills
- continuing education and vocational skills; and
- liberal, popular and community education and citizenship skills
It also highlights the great potential of information and communication technologies to promote inclusion and equity by providing adults with access to learning opportunities, including people with disabilities and marginalized or disadvantaged groups.
The aim of adult learning and education is to equip people with the necessary capabilities to exercise and realize their rights and take control of their destinies. It promotes personal and professional development, thereby supporting more active engagement by adults with their societies, communities and environments. It fosters sustainable and inclusive economic growth and decent work prospects for individuals. It is therefore a crucial tool in alleviating poverty, improving health and well-being and contributing to sustainable learning societies. Recommendation on ALE (para. 8)
Areas of Action
The Recommendation calls on UNESCO Member States to make progress in five key areas of action, which were first identified in the 2009 Belém Framework for Action:
- Develop ALE policies and programmes.
- Improve the governance of ALE.
- Increase funding for ALE.
- promote participation, inclusion and equity.
- Improve the quality of ALE.
Monitoring and international cooperation
While the Recommendation is not legally binding, it does call on Member States to report on actions they have taken to put it into practice. It also calls on them to increase international cooperation, share experiences and help build each other’s capacities in adult education.
UIL plays a central role in monitoring progress and promoting lifelong learning among Member States. The Recommendation calls on UIL to continue its Global Report on Adult Learning and Education, to develop agreed indicators and to improve the mechanisms for international data collection on ALE.