New UIL course: ‘How open and distance learning can support literacy’


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15 February 2022

To advance learning and capacity in planning and implementing effective open and distance learning (ODL) programmes for youth and adults, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) are launching a six-week online course on Implementing Open and Distance Learning for Youth and Adult Literacy.

COVID-19 has brought to the forefront the potential of information and communication technologies, particularly the use of open and distance learning (ODL), in ensuring continuity of literacy programmes. More than ever, innovative, diverse, flexible, inclusive and accessible learning opportunities are needed to accelerate progress in literacy and ensure the right to education, especially for youth and adult learners who remain outside formal education systems.  

Since many youth and adults with little or no basic literacy skills also suffer from poor access to digital technologies, literacy programme providers need to rethink their programme design and delivery to adopt ODL practices that are relevant and suitable to the needs of their target group.  

This new UIL/COL online course is designed to support literacy programme providers in developing and implementing contextually relevant and needs-based youth and adult literacy programmes using ODL approaches. Both government and non-government education providers are invited to nominate participants for this course. 

The course will be offered between 1 March and 12 April and course certificates will be awarded to participants who meet the course requirements. It is free of charge and will be taught in English.  Professionals interested in the course are invited to send an email to Ms Annapurna Ayyappan at uil-elearning@unesco.org no later than 17 February 2022. In the email, please include the following details: First name; last name; email address; current organization; and current role. 

The course is based on the recently launched Guidelines on Open and Distance Learning for Youth and Adult Literacy.