New Steering Group of Global Alliance for Literacy paves the way for 2021 initiatives

7 April 2021

On 25 March 2021, the new Steering Group of the Global Alliance for Literacy within the Framework of Lifelong Learning (GAL) looked at ways to strengthen literacy in GAL member countries. The alliance’s work plan for 2021, fundraising, advocacy, and a new initiative to strengthen digital competencies of literacy educators were on the agenda.

Throughout the meeting, education ministers, vice ministers and directors of adult education departments of member countries highlighted the importance of the alliance. ‘Literacy has become one of the priorities of my country, with a wide range of actions taken. The Global Alliance for Literacy has achieved promising outcomes to support member countries such as Benin in their efforts,’ affirmed GAL co-chair H.E. Mr Mahougnon Kakpo, Minister of Secondary and Technical Education and Vocational Training in Benin.

The Steering Group endorsed the 2021 work plan and agreed that it aligns with the five goals of the GAL Strategy 2020–2025: (1) policy and planning, (2) equity, (3) innovation, (4) data, and (5) partnerships. Looking forward, GAL member countries and associate members will submit their plans to the GAL Secretariat to facilitate monitoring of the strategy’s implementation across the alliance. Activities such as a mapping of literacy in the GAL countries, a review of youth and adult literacy and numeracy curriculum frameworks and standards, and the organization of several events will support the realization of improving youth and adult literacy in the member countries.

The Steering Group agreed that GAL should provide the ground for innovation and partnerships. Mr AttaullahWahidyar, Deputy Minister of Education, Afghanistan, who represented GAL co-chair H.E. Ms Rangina Hamidi, Minister of Education of Afghanistan, explained, ‘We need to strengthen partnerships to promote literacy. The Global Alliance for Literacy is one of these partnerships where we are able to share innovations and expertise’.

The innovative character of GAL was a particular feature of discussions about the alliance’s newly launched initiative, ‘Improving digital competencies of literacy educators’, which will be implemented in selected GAL countries in cooperation with the UNESCO Global Education Coalition in 2021/22 with an aim to train at least 100,000 literacy educators. The initiative will promote quality literacy provision by increasing effective use of contextually relevant technologies in literacy instruction and learning while building the capacity of literacy educators, during and beyond major crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

In closing, the GAL members highlighted a need for further fundraising and advocacy activities to promote the concept of literacy as an essential pillar for quality education and a foundation for further learning and as part of broader national development agendas.

About the Global Alliance for Literacy within the Framework of Lifelong Learning

The Global Alliance for Literacy within the Framework of Lifelong Learning (GAL) is made up of 29 countries strongly committed to improving youth and adult literacy. The GAL alliance engages a multiplicity of stakeholders to advocate for youth and adult literacy and to catalyse in an effective and coordinated manner efforts to improve literacy rates in the countries that need it the most. The Steering Group ensures the smooth functioning of GAL and is composed of ministers from Afghanistan, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Liberia and Nigeria. Read more about GAL and its Steering Group here.

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