A renewed commitment to advancing youth and adult literacy

14 November 2018

The Global Alliance for Literacy within the Framework of Lifelong Learning (GAL) held its general meeting in Mexico City the 12 November 2018, reaffirming the importance of literacy for the well-being of our societies and renewing its commitment to promoting youth and adult literacy around the world.

The meeting, at which GAL announced a new focus on 20 countries with an adult literacy rate below 50 per cent and the E9 countries in which the largest number of illiterate people live, followed the November 2018 UN General Assembly’s resolution, Literacy for life: Shaping future agendas, and its call for more effective partnerships for the advancement of youth and adult literacy.

The achievements and lessons of the first phase of GAL were discussed by country participants, including the Minister of National Education, Technical Education and Vocational Training of Cote d’Ivoire, Ms Kandia Camara, and the Minister of General Education and Instruction of South Sudan, Mr Deng Deng Hoc Yai.

The new focus of GAL in its second phase was introduced by the UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning and discussed by participants, who confirmed their engagement with upcoming GAL activities. These include GAL advocacy efforts at high-level events, such as the Global Education Meeting 2018 in Brussels on 3 December 2018. GAL knowledge-sharing efforts were also addressed, including the mapping of youth and adult literacy policies, plans and programmes in the 29 GAL countries, and assessing the cost of raising literacy levels in these countries by 2030, in line with SDG target 4.6.

Links between the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities and GAL were discussed, with a focus on the promotion of youth and adult literacy within learning communities that connect urban and rural contexts. The participants also agreed on the formation of a GAL steering group to streamline and expedite GAL’s agenda and next strategic steps.

The GAL general meeting took place on the eve of the GAL international policy forum, ‘Literacy policies and Sustainable Development Goal 4’, also in Mexico City 13 and 14 November. This event will consider innovative literacy policies, plans and programmes in the context of SDG 4.

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