Successful international workshop for literacy facilitators


4 April 2013

Providing basic literacy skills to the world’s 800 million illiterate adults is an essential step in empowering people to become agents of positive social change in their communities. However, this issue is low on the agenda of education policymakers, judging by the status and conditions of adult literacy teachers. Their marginalization contributes to a vicious cycle of low-quality, poorly performing literacy programmes, which in turn provide little inducement to governments to support greater investment in literacy and basic skills.

In response to this situation, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, in partnership with the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association (dvv international), Ethiopia’s Ministry of Education, the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa, and the UNESCO Addis Ababa Liaison Office, organised an International Workshop on Strategies for the Improvement of the Status of Literacy Teaching Personnel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 25 to 29 March 2013.

Over 60 directors of literacy agencies, government personnel in charge of teacher training, and heads of civil society organizations involved in literacy training from seven countries (Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Indonesia and Nepal) attended. Participants gained insights into the situation of literacy facilitators, shared best practices, and identified ways to improve the status of literacy facilitators. To ensure the implementation of the action points developed at the workshop and to support the country teams, several UNESCO Field Offices (namely Abuja, Juba, Kabul, Kathmandu and Nairobi) also sent colleagues in charge of literacy.

The main outputs of this workshop were draft action plans with concrete timelines and indicators, which each country team developed based on the discussions held and inputs given.