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Regional consultation on new literacy initiative in Arab States

The Literacy Enhancement Arab Programme (LEAP) is a regional coordination and support mechanism to streamline national and international efforts in literacy and adult education in the Arab region, jointly steered by UNESCO, ALECSO (Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization) and ISESCO (Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Participants from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates discussed its activities, priorities and timelines at a regional consultation meeting organised and hosted by the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Beirut on 15-16 November. Bettina Bochynek of UIL presented the key issues of the Belém Framework for Action to explore the role LEAP can play in following up CONFINTEA VI.

To address the lack and/or unreliability of data, the clearest priority for LEAP is improved data collection. A second major issue is quality improvement. General priority issues include advocacy, clarification of concepts, capacity-building and the integration of adult education into overall planning.

To be launched in 2012, LEAP will serve to renew momentum and coordinate activities in literacy and adult education with a lifelong learning perspective. Evaluations are planned in 2014 and 2016. Based on the results of the meeting, a draft work plan for LEAP will be prepared, which will help to mark and strengthen linkages with the CONFINTEA VI follow-up process.