Youth and Adult Education and UNESCO

In the framework of lifelong learning, ‘literacy is part of the right to education and a public good. It is at the core of basic education and an indispensable foundation of independent learning. The benefits of literacy, in particular for women, are well documented. They include greater participation in the labour market, delayed marriage, and improved child and family health and nutrition; these, in turn, help reduce poverty and expand life opportunities. Numeracy is a key skill: manipulating numbers, accounts, measurements, ratios and quantities is a basic skill to life and required everywhere.’ (Incheon Declaration).

However, there are still about 758 million adults, including 115 million people between the ages of 15 and 24, who are not able to read or write a single sentence. Most countries did not meet the Education for All goal of achieving a 50% improvement in adult literacy levels by 2015.


‘Inequity in the way women’s education and qualifications are supported and valued remains a dominant issue. The majority of those excluded from school are girls, with 9.7% of the world’s girls out of school, compared to 8.3% of boys. Likewise, the majority (63%) of adults with low literacy skills are women. Nevertheless, there are some hopeful signs: in 44% of participating countries, women participated more in ALE than men.’ (GRALE III).

Action in Brazil

UNESCO in Brazil works with close cooperation with the Brazilian government through technical support to implement international frameworks referred to ALE, collaborating with the endeavours to meet the Education 2030 Agenda. Through the development of research and studies, UNESCO offers subsidies for the elaboration of public policies, collaborating with the advancement of indicators related to ALE quality, learning and literacy in formal, non-formal and informal environments, as well as contributing to the promotion of lifelong learning.

In Brazil, UNESCO also counts on the support and expertise of the UNESCO Chair in Youth and Adult Education at the Federal University of Paraíba, which constitutes an important network of institutions working in this area to produce and disseminate information and knowledge on adult education in Brazil.

Launch of GRALE III in Latin America & the Caribbean


The launch of the 3rd Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE III) for Latin America and Caribbean occurs in Brazil (Brazil) on 15 February 2017. The event will be part of a seminar that will present the world scenario on Adult Learning and Education with emphasis on the Latin American and the Caribbean region and Brazil. The occasion with also launch the Portuguese version of the GRALE III Report. The seminar will have the cooperation and participation of representatives of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean; National Office in Chile (OREALC), the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Educacionais Anísio Teixeira (INEP) and the Ministry of Education in Brazil (MEC).

The UNESCO Office in Brazil has organized the event in partnership with MEC through the Secretaria de Educação Continuada, Alfabetização, Diversidade e Inclusão (Secadi), which is responsible for the Youth and Adult Education Policy in Brazil. On the occasion. SECADI will present a new cycle of the National Programme called “Brasil Alfabetizado” (Literate Brazil).

The target audience will be public managers, namely ministers and education secretaries from Brazil and other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.,  


More about GRALE III

Download the report:

GRALE III: English | French | Portuguese

GRALE III - key messages and summary: English | French | Spanish | Portuguese

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