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Family learning finds continued success in the Gambia

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MoBSE officers, literacy providers, researchers and professors disuss FILL
© UNESCO
Education experts and government ministers pledge further support for UIL’s intergenerational learning programme
31 July 2019

In 2017, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) received generous financial support from the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany to implement a project whose aim is to empower vulnerable women and their families in sub-Saharan Africa by providing them with opportunities to improve their literacy proficiency levels and other foundational skills through intergenerational learning.

Following consultations with UNESCO regional bureaux and UNESCO field offices in the region, two countries – Ethiopia and the Gambia – were selected to pilot the Family and Intergenerational Literacy and Learning (FILL) approach to identify best practice for improved policies, actions and materials that support learning together as a family. In the Gambia, the first phase of the project was successfully trialled in 2018 in two communities, Njama Sinyan and Kaleng Jawbeh. The objective of phase two of the project, which will be piloted in four communities in 2019, is to further contextualize the FILL approach for the Gambia by collecting robust evidence from the field.

To introduce FILL to relevant stakeholders, 35 participants took part in a two-day meeting organized by the Gambia National Commission for UNESCO and the Adult and Non-formal Education Unit (ANFEU) of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) of the Gambia, with technical support from UIL. The meeting, which took place in the Gambian city of Serekunda on 16 and 17 July 2019, was attended by officers of MOBSE directorates, literacy providers from civil society organizations, researchers, and professors in the field of adult and non-formal education, all of whom pledged their support for the project.

A wide range of topics relevant to the implementation of family literacy programmes were discussed, including instructional strategies and joint-learning activities, developing culturally and contextually relevant learning materials, assessment and programme monitoring, and the role of local experts in designing, implementing and evaluating FILL project activities.