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Background

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by heads of state, government leaders and high-level UN and civil society representatives in September 2015 as an action plan for people, the planet and prosperity. The Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have reinvigorated the concept of lifelong learning, in particular with one stand-alone goal – SDG 4 – which calls on countries to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. It represents a significant step forward in recognizing education and lifelong learning as important drivers of sustainable development. A growing number of the UNESCO Member States regard lifelong learning for all as essential to their education goals and development frameworks.

However, for many countries, the concept of lifelong learning remains unclear, comprehensive policy frameworks for promoting lifelong learning are inconsistent, and implementation of lifelong learning programmes are deficient. Consequently, there has been increasing demand from Member States for guidance to strengthen their capacities in making lifelong learning for all the conceptual framework and organizing principle of their education systems.

In response to this demand, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) is organizing a series of workshops on developing capacities for establishing lifelong learning systems in Member States. The first workshop, scheduled to take place from 22 October to 2 November 2018, is for policy-makers and leading researchers from four Member States: Indonesia, Kenya, Namibia and Viet Nam. It will be co-organized by UIL, the National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO, Shanghai Open University, and the East China Normal University.

The general goal of the workshop is to increase the capacity of the participants for the development of education systems oriented towards lifelong learning.

Objectives

The specific objectives of the workshop are to:

  • promote a sound conceptual understanding of lifelong learning in the context of the SDGs among leading policy-makers, and advocate the integration of the lifelong learning perspective into educational policies in the participant countries;
  • identify existing policies and strategies focused on establishing lifelong learning systems in these countries;
  • identify and discuss approaches and mechanisms in implementing lifelong learning;
  • share experiences between countries and create synergies regarding cooperation and coordinated development of lifelong learning systems;
  • plan concrete actions to achieve SDG 4.

Main activities

The participating countries are expected to form a national team comprising seven to eight members, who will work together with the resource persons to:

  • analyse development contexts in the participating countries, including political, legal, social, economic, demographic, technological, cultural and environmental contexts;
  • review existing education policies in the relevant countries with regard to progress, impacts, opportunities, challenges, lessons learned, and so on;
  • identify priority areas and corresponding policies. The areas may include (1) the overall legislative instruments to support lifelong learning policies and, more specifically, formal, non-formal and informal learning opportunities; (2) different sub-sectors, from early childhood care and education to tertiary, technical and vocational education and training (TVET), and adult learning and education; (3) learning and education on cross-cutting issues (e.g., literacy, basic skills and professional skills development and employability, global citizenship education, sustainable development, health promotion, HIV/AIDS prevention, and sexual education); (4) quality assurance of education and learning; (5) national qualification frameworks and the recognition, validation and accreditation of learning outcomes; (6) information and communication technologies (ICTs) and open learning approaches; and (7) localized initiatives/approaches;
  • form an action plan for the implementation of gender-responsive lifelong learning policies and strategies in the participating countries. This should include roles and responsibilities across all levels of government and other stakeholders, as well coordination mechanisms for collaboration, mobilization and allocation of financial resources, and innovative funding mechanisms;
  • develop monitoring and evaluation strategies in the participating countries, focusing on how to monitor implementation, assess outcomes and measure impact.

At the end of the workshop, each national team will deliver a draft proposal for a country-based policy and strategy to promote and implement lifelong learning.

Organizations

Organizers
UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL)
The National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO
Shanghai Open University
East China Normal University

Supporting Organization
Shanghai Municipal Centre for the Construction, Service and Guidance Centre of Learning Society

Working language
English

Dates and venue
Dates: 22 October to 2 November 2018
Venue: TBD

Contact

Mo Wang
Programme Specialist
UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning
Feldbrunnenstr. 58
20148 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: +49 40 44 80 41 27
Email: mw.wang@unesco.org

Edith Hammer
Programme Specialist
UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning
Feldbrunnenstr. 58
20148 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: +49 40 44 80 41 67
Email: e.hammer@unesco.org

Yu Han
Shanghai Open University
Rm401, No.1 Building, 288 Guoshun Road
200433, Shanghai, China
Tel: +86 21 2565 3006
Email: hanyu@sou.edu.cn