The 42nd Session of the International Conference on Education was held
in Geneva, Switzerland in 1990. Part III of the Conference's Final Report,
entitled 'Recommendation No. 77 to Ministries of Education on the struggle
against illiteracy: operational policies, strategies and programmes for
the 1990s', highlights some of the concerns regarding education in a multilingual
10. An effective policy for the elimination of disparities between
men's and women's literacy rate and between boys' and girls' access
to primary schooling should be formulated, with time-bound targets and
in co-operation, inter alia, with women's organizations.
11. Decisions of the same kind should be taken concerning other specific
groups such as urban slum-dwellers, the rural poor cultural and linguistic
minorities and the handicapped
12. In multilingual situations, the policy regarding the language of
literacy should be carefully formulated, especially where the national
or official language is different from local languages. Use of the mother
tongue is desirable. However, in some situations bilingual literacy
should be encouraged.
29. Awareness-raising campaigns and existing facilities in all industrialized
and developing countries should be substantially expanded to meet the
basic learning needs of all adults. A systematic, research-based investigation
of the question should seek to identify groups and individuals with
inadequate schooling, including migrant workers and their families,
whose linguistic and cultural identity should be respected, to determine
the numbers involved and establish reliable statistical data.
The nature and scope of the basic learning needs of these different
groups and individuals should also be identified in relation to cumulative
factors such as unemployment, poverty, social marginalization, etc.
Changing employment patterns demographic trends and evolving technology
make these needs recurrent, generating a continuing demand for basic
learning skills in the form of flexible and abiding educational services
that call for a long-term commitment on the part of the authorities,
in both industrialized and developing countries.
32. Industrialized and developing countries should share their experience
concerning common concerns with respect to the development of appropriate
programmes to meet the needs of their populations concerns relating
to language of instruction, highly dispersed populations, regions of
extreme poverty, the diversity of groups with literacy needs, etc.