16.05.2012 - Education Sector

Lobbying for literacy for 60 years

© UNESCO/UIL- Participants at the first seminar on adult education at the UNESCO Institute for Education in 1952

Not many educational bodies can boast that Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget were at the first meeting of its governing board. UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), currently celebrating six decades of advancing lifelong learning and literacy, can make that claim.

The Institute’s 60th anniversary celebrations on 24 and 25 May 2012, will highlight its impact on education policy and programmes in addition to celebrating  60 years of UNESCO’s presence in Hamburg, Germany.

One of six UNESCO educational institutes, UIL was originally created by the Organization in 1952 as the UNESCO Institute for Education, a foundation under German civil law. It was renamed the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning in 2006, to reflect its ongoing work on adult learning.

As its name suggests, lifelong learning is the basic principle underlying the work of UIL. The Institute promotes lifelong learning in educational systems in all regions of the world, insists on a lifelong learning perspective to Education for All and supports policy formulation for sustainable and gender-just learning societies.

UIL is notably concerned with alternative learning opportunities for marginalized and disadvantaged groups. Its mission is to see that all forms of education and learning – formal, non-formal and informal – are recognized, valued and available for meeting the demands of individuals and communities throughout the world.

The celebrations include a public lecture on “Responding to Global Challenges through Lifelong Learning” on 24 may. The following day, an international expert seminar will address “The Role of Universities in Promoting Lifelong Learning”.

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