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E-9 Seminar on Literacy and Adult Learning in Rural Areas Beijing, China, 26-29 October 2009

E-9 countries have a key role to play in promoting literacy and adult learning in rural areas, given that nearly 70 per cent of the world’s illiterate adults live in these countries. In order to promote the implementation of UNESCO’s Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) and develop E-9 countries’ capacities with regard to literacy and adult learning, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and the UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (INRULED) will hold a Seminar on Literacy and Adult Learning in Rural Areas in Beijing from 26 to 29 October 2009, in cooperation with the National Commission for UNESCO, the Chinese Ministry of Education, UNESCO Beijing and UNESCO Bangkok.

The overall objectives of the meeting will be:

  1. to review strategies, progress and challenges in implementing LIFE;
  2. to share experiences and best practices in promoting literacy and adult learning in rural areas; and
  3. to generate information and inputs for the workshop focusing on E-9 countries that will take place during CONFINTEA VI, the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (Belém, Brazil, 1-4 December 2009). 

It will focus on thematic issues that range from renewing commitment to literacy and adult learning in the face of the global financial crisis, through mobilising adequate resources, to scaling up effective approaches. The meeting will also showcase China’s achievements and experiences in related fields. Furthermore, the seminar will provide opportunities to discuss common concerns and proposals in preparation for the eighth E-9 Ministerial Review Meeting which will take place in 2010 in Nigeria and focus on literacy and non-formal education.

The seminar will be attended by a) the national focal points for the E-9 initiative; b) the national LIFE focal points; c) literacy specialists as resource persons; d) international and regional organisations, development banks and non-governmental organisations. It will also be attended by officials and specialists from a number of Chinese organisations and provinces. 

It is expected that participants will: share their experiences to draw conclusions and lessons from the exchange on innovative practices in adult literacy and learning in the rural areas; identify effective strategies for improving and scaling up adult literacy and learning programmes in these areas; gain first-hand experience of literacy and adult learning in through a field visit to rural areas of Beijing; and develop a future E-9 collaboration strategy for LIFE and adult learning with the aim of consolidating a mechanism of South-South cooperation that will support the achievement of the EFA goals, in particular Goals 3 and 4.