Paris, France - Though older people who are engaged in adult learning and education are more involved in their communities, less dependent on family and social services, and report better health and well-being, in almost one-third of countries, fewer than 5% of adults aged 15 and above participate in education and learning programs, according to UNESCO's fourth Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE 4).
In the 2019 report, which was released December 5, 2019, UNESCO spotlighted the progress made by Mexico in improving access to Adult Learning and Education (ALE).
The country has been particularly commended for its efforts in reaching the most remote areas of Mexico through the National Institute for Adult Education (INEA), offering classes in indigenous languages in 8 states. The report also notes that the National Institute for Adult Education is among the best examples of an adult education institution in the region.
To address the complex multidimensional problems of youth and adult education, Mexico implemented nationwide efforts ranging from policies on free basic education, implementing ICT based learning, skills training for entrepreneurship and new technology, and community-based education support.
Adult education is central to sustainable development and economic growth. However, in almost one-third of countries fewer than five per cent of adults aged 15 and above participate in education and learning programs. Disadvantaged groups, in particular, are often deprived of their right to education. Adults with disabilities, older adults, refugees and migrants, and minority groups are among those losing out, according to the report.
Overall, the GRALE report warns major change in adult education participation is required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The report calls for a sea change in approach, backed by adequate investment, to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to access and benefit from adult learning and education and that its full contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is realized.
The findings of the global report are based on data submitted by 159 countries. To reach the Sustainable Development Goal 4 and other SDGs by 2030 the Global Report on Adult Learning and Education calls for six recommendations:
1. better data, particularly for low-income countries and marginalized or vulnerable groups, such as migrants and refugees;
2. increased investment in adult learning and education, from governments, employers and individuals;
3. donor countries to live up to their aid obligations to developing countries and rebalance their funding of education to support the education of adults as well as children;
4. more research on good practices, particularly when it comes to vulnerable and excluded groups;
5. recognition that investment in adult learning and education has social, civic and economic benefits;
6. an integrated, inter-sectoral and inter-ministerial approach to governance to enable Member States to realize the wider benefits of adult education to the greatest extent possible, with resources allocated accordingly.
About the UNESCO Global Report on Adult Learning and Education
The UNESCO Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE) monitors whether UNESCO Member States are putting their international commitments on adult learning and education into practice. These commitments are set out in the Belém Framework for Action (2009), the outcome document of the 6th International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI, Belém, Brazil), and the Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (2015). In addition to this monitoring function, each issue of GRALE examines a particular topic, the 2019 edition focuses on participation. GRALE is published every three years. The Report combines survey data, policy analysis and case studies to provide policy-makers and practitioners with recommendations and examples of good practice. It presents evidence on how adult learning and education helps countries address current challenges and contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Click HERE for the full report.