27.08.2013 - UNESCO Office in Jakarta

International Policy Forum on Literacy and Life Skills Education for Vulnerable Youth through Community Learning Centres (Jakarta, 20-22 August 2013)

Jakarta, 20 August 2013 - The “International Policy Forum on Literacy and Life Skills Education for Vulnerable Youth through Community Learning Centres” was organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture together the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), UNESCO Office, Jakarta, and UNESCO Bangkok - Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, and in partnership with the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE).

Ms. Ella Yulaelawati, PhD (Director of Community Education Development), on behalf of the Steering Committee, reported that this Policy Forum was held to tackle the issues and challenges of how policies and educational services could promote literacy and life skills for vulnerable youth. A particular focus was made on the role of Community Learning Centres in reaching out of vulnerable youth. This event provided an opportunity for the participants to share experiences and learn from each other.

A keynote speech was given by Prof. Dr. Lydia Freyani Hawadi, Psychologist, Director-General of Early Childhood, Non-Formal and Informal Education. Prof. Hawadi explained that in 2012, the percentage of illiterate population aged 15-59 years was 4.21%, equivalent to 6,401,522 people. The progress in 2013 is targeted to be 4.03%. To achieve the target, the Directorate of Early Childhood, Non-Formal and Informal Education provides multi-literacy services integrated with entrepreneurship literacy programme, reading culture development, gender mainstreaming in education, women empowerment, and parenting education. Challenges encountered in achieving adult literacy are caused by poverty, powerlessness, age, ethnicity, gender disparities, language, and disparities among provinces and cities/districts. Indonesia also has a commitment to achieve a Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) of early childhood education by 75%.

In his welcome address, Prof. Hubert J. Gijzen highlighted the importance of equipping vulnerable youth with the literacy, life skills, and capacity needed to secure decent work, as this will positively promote social inclusion and cohesion, peace and security, poverty reduction, and sustainable development. Endeavors need to be made to improve educational quality provided in CLCs to be more responsive to the needs of vulnerable youth and to be of recognized quality. Access to CLCs need to be expanded to be on a large enough scale to reach the many vulnerable youths needing them.

Ms. Carolyn Medel-Añonuevo, Deputy Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, introduced and for the first time officially launched the Second Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE II) on the theme of Rethinking Literacy for the Asia and Pacific region. The report was developed by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) based on Member States’ country progress reports. Findings from the report underlined the need to strengthen the adult education sector by clarifying concepts, sharpening frameworks, integrating into development strategies and plans, culling lessons from existing measurement practices, and building capacities.

Opening remarks were presented by Prof. Dr. Ir. H. Musliar Kasim, M.S., Vice Minister of Education and Culture for Education of the Republic of Indonesia, who subsequently officially opened the event. Basic literacy programmes are prioritized for disadvantaged groups who live in remote, border and poor areas, notably in Papua which has a low literacy rate of 66% (2011). The 2013 target for youth life skills education and training programmes is to reach 134,101 people, with a budget of USD21.2 million. To improve the quality and relevance of adult literacy and life skills programmes, literacy standards, evaluation and accreditation system of Community Learning Centres have been developed. In terms of life skills, a national quality framework has been applied to meet the national standard of education and required standards by industries and professionals. The GER of higher education is considerably low, reaching only approximately 27%. In this regard, higher education is supported by the provision of Community Academy.

The event brought together approximately 120 senior education policy makers, experts, academicians, lifelong learning practitioners, civil society practitioners, and youth representatives from 19 countries from Southeast Asia, South Asia, Arab, Africa, Europe and Australia, as well as from UNESCO Bangkok, UNESCO Dhaka and UNESCO Jakarta.

For further information please contact: Dr. Anwar Al-Said (Head of the Education Unit, UNESCO Office, Jakarta, a.alsaid@unesco.org).

Related link: Welcome Address by Prof. Hubert J. Gijzen, PhD (Director and Representative of UNESCO Office, Jakarta) on the occasion of the “International Policy Forum on Literacy and Life Skills Education for Vulnerable Youth through Community Learning Centres” (Jakarta, 20-22 August 2013)


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