Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta literacy. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta literacy. Mostrar todas las entradas

Literacy: From all to "a substantial proportion of adults"




Between 1980 and 2015 the goal referred to youth and adult literacy went from "eradicating illiteracy" (Major Project of Education, 1980-2000) to "all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy“ (Sustainable Development Goals, 2015-2030).

In other words: current Sustainable Development Goals propose universal literacy for youth (15 to 25 year-olds) and an undefined goal for people beyond 25 years of age. This contradicts the Lifelong Learning rhetoric as well as SDG 4, referred to education: "
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all."

Major Project for Education (1980-2000) | UNESCO-OREALC

In 1980, the Major Project of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean - MPE (1980-2000) was approved in Mexico. MPE was coordinated by UNESCO's Regional Office in Santiago de Chile. MPE proposed to achieve three goals until the year 2000. One of them was "eradicating illiteracy".

1. Eight to ten years' minimum schooling for all children of school age;
2. Eradication of illiteracy and expansion of educational facilities for adults;
3. Improving the quality and efficiency of educational systems and education in general, through the implementation of necessary reforms and effective systems designed for measuring learning.


The final evaluation of the project, in 2000, revealed that the goals were not met.


Education for All (1990-2000)
| UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank

The Education for All (EFA) world initiative was approved in1990 at the World Conference on Education for All held in Jomtien-Thailand. EFA proposed six basic education goals that covered children, youth and adults, in and out of school. One of those goals (goal 4) was reducing the adult illiteracy rate by half.

1.
Expansion of early childhood care and development activities, including family and community interventions, especially for poor, disadvantaged and disabled children.
2.
Universal access to, and completion of, primary education (or whatever higher
level  of education is considered “basic”) by 2000.

3.
Improvement in learning achievement such that an agreed percentage of an appropriate age cohort (e.g. 80% of 14 year-olds) attains or surpasses a defined level of necessary learning achievement.
4.
Reduction in the adult illiteracy rate (the appropriate age cohort to be determined
in each country) to, say, one-half its 1990 level by the year 2000, with sufficient emphasis on female literacy to significantly reduce the current disparity between the male and female illiteracy rates.

5.
Expansion of provision of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youth and adults, with programme effectiveness assessed in terms of behavioural changes and impacts on health, employment and productivity.
6.
Increased acquisition by individuals and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living and sound and sustainable development, made available through all educational channels including the mass media, other forms of modern and traditional communication, and social action, with effectiveness assessed in terms of behavioural change.

EFA's evaluation, presented in 2000 at the World Education Forum in Dakar, concluded that the goals were not met. The decision was taken to postpone the goals for another 15 years. 


Education for All (2000-2015)
| UNESCO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank

In 2000, at the World Education Forum held in Dakar-Senegal, the six EFA goals were ratified, with some modifications. The goal referred to literacy (goal 4) remained as
"achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy".

1.
Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
2. 
Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality.
3.
Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes.
4.
Achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults.
5.
Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality.
6.
Improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence for all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills.

EFA's final evaluation in 2015 confirmed that the goals were not met.
EFA remained as an "unfinished agenda".

Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015)
| United Nations 

In 2000 the United Nations launched the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), a global multisectoral agenda with eight goals to be achieved by 2015. The goal referred to education - Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education- focused on children (completing four years of schooling). It was not met. The MDGs did not include a goal for adult literacy. 


Sustainable Development Goals - SDG (2015-2030)
| United Nations

In 2015, once both EFA and MDG goals had reached their deadline, the Sustainable Development Goals (2015-2030) were approved. The 2030 agenda was organized around 17 goals. SDG 4 refers to education: 

SDG 4 encompasses 10 targets: 7 include expected outcomes and 3 refer to means for achieving them. The target related to literacy (target 4.6) is "by 2030, ensure all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.“


According to UNESCO (2016 data, projected to 2017),
in 2017 there are 260 million children who cannot read and write, and 750 million adults in the same condition. Women continue to be two thirds of the adult illiterates. 102 million are young people between 15 and 24 years fo age. Globally, between 2000 and 2015, the youth and adult literacy rate increased only 4%.

In terms of age, literacy rates are organized as follows:
- 86%: 15+
- 91%: 15 to 24
- 86%: 15 to 64 
- 78%: 65+

In most countries, literacy/illiteracy data continue to be collected through census and house surveys where people have to respond Yes or No to the question of whether they are illiterate. 


¿Lifelong Learning opportunities for all?


With regards to youth and adult literacy goals, between
1980 and 2015 we have passed from "eradicating illiteracy" to ensuring universal literacy for youth and reaching "a substantial proportion of adults.". 

UNESCO document Unpacking Sustainable Development Goal 4: Education 2030 (2017) clarifies that target 4.6 understands 'youth' as 15 to 25 years of age.

The document also explains that (p. 13):
"The principles, strategies and actions for this target are underpinned by the contemporary understanding of literacy as a continuum of proficiency levels in a given context. It goes beyond the understanding of a simple dichotomy of ‘literate’ versus ‘illiterate’. Therefore, action for this target aims at ensuring that by 2030, all young people and adults across the world should have achieved relevant and recognized proficiency levels in functional literacy and numeracy skills that are equivalent to levels achieved at successful completion of basic
education."
However, target 4.6 indicates that it is not all young people and adults who will be made literate. Moreover, a summary of the global goals indicates that only young people will be taken into account (p. 16).


In the 1970s and 1980s we criticized the "eradication of illiteracy" for its grotesque language and its simplified vision of illiteracy and literacy.

Today, the SDG Agenda proposes universal literacy for youth and reaching "a substantial proportion of adults." Once again, we must expect adult literacy to have no priority.


This happens at a time when Lifelong Learning is proposed by UNESCO as the educational paradigm for the 21st century and in the framework of an education goal that promises to "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all."

 
To know more

»
UNESCO Institute for Statistics - Literacy


Related texts in this blog

» Los erradicadores del analfabetismo

» ¿Renuncia a un mundo alfabetizado? | Giving up to a literate world?
»
Alfabetización de adultos en América Latina y el Caribe: planes y metas 1980-2015 
» Seis metas de Educación para Todos
| Six Education for All goals
» Carta Abierta a la UNESCO por parte del GLEACE en 2007

» Ecuador: El fiasco de la alfabetización
| Ecuador's literacy fiasco
» International Initiatives for Education | Iniciativas internacionales para la educación

Ecuador's literacy fiasco


During Rafael Correa's government (2007-2017) there were two failed attempts at "eradicating illiteracy" in Ecuador. In 2009, a Patria Alfabetizada (Literate Homeland) declaration had to be changed to Patria Alfabetizándose (Homeland in the Process of Becoming Literate). In 2015, the Ministry of Education informed that the 2006-2015 Ten-Year Education Plan had been accomplished; one of its eight policies was "eradicating illiteracy". As it turned out, the claim was once again false.

Sin leer ni escribir: Visión 360 - Ecuavisa (Oct. 23, 2017)

In 2009, on September 8th, International Literacy Day, Rafael Correa's government declared Ecuador as Patria Alfabetizada (Literate Homeland). Minister of Education Raúl Vallejo informed that the illiteracy rate had been reduced from 9% to 2,7% between 2007 and 2009 (420.888 newly literate people). The celebration took place at the Jocay Stadium in the city of Manta. Dr. Edouard Matoko, UNESCO Representative for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, supported the declaration. President Correa addressed the nation and said: "In two years we have done what no government did in decades".

One month later, at the 35th Session of UNESCO's General Conference in Paris (6-23 October, 2009), minister Vallejo shared Ecuador's achievement. Here is his speech (Spanish).

Four months later, the government changed Patria Alfabetizada with Patria Alfabetizándose. Based on the 2009 national empoyment and unemployment survey, the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) informed that the illiteracy rate in the country was 7,8%. Between 2007 and 2009 the illiteracy rate had experienced a small reduction (7.92% in 2007, 7.62% in 2008, 7.76% in 2009).

In 2015, Minister of Education Augusto Espinosa informed the nation that the eight policies of the Ten-Year Education Plan (2006-2015) had been accomplished. The Plan, prepared during President Palacios' government (2005-2007), was approved in a popular consultation held in November 2006. Policy 4 of the Plan referred to eradicating illiteracy. 


According to an evaluation report of the Plan published by the Ministry of Education in February 2016, all 8 policies/goals had been met.  


However, a second evaluation report publisehd by the ministry in October 2016 concluded that the illiteracy rate in 2015 was 5,54% and that the goal had not been met.
"395.229 people were made literate through the Basic Literacy for Youth and Adults Project, which reduced the illiteracy rate from 8,6% in 2006 to 5,54% in 2015."  

Based on information provided by the government, in 2014 UNESCO's Literacy Jury awarded Ecuador the King Sejong Literacy Prize.

"The Ministry of Education of Ecuador has reached close to 325,000 beneficiaries in 2012 and 2013 with its Basic Literacy Education for Youth and Adults Project.
For 2014, the project has set itself the challenge of reaching out to 100,000 people. The initiative will be extended to 2015."
- UNESCO, Inclusive programme wins 2014 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize for Ecuador, 12 August 2014.
The Project was also included by UIL-UNESCO in a list of "Effective Literacy Programmes".
 
▸ In September 2017, Lenin Moreno's government announced a literacy campaign called Campaña Todos ABC. The campaign aims at young people and adults over 15 years of age interested in learning to read and write and/or completing basic education and secondary education. The document presented by minister of education Fander Falconí informed that 414.813 people had been made literate during Correa's government between 2011 and 2017, thanks to the Basic Literacy for Youth and Adults Project, and indicated that 660.000 persons remained illiterate in the country. The new literacy campaign plans to reach 200.000 of them until the year 2019.


Thus, for the second time in the last decade the government failed to declare Ecuador Patria Alfabetizada. The first time there was an official celebration. The second time there was no celebration, the media and the population were not even aware of the ministerial reports and claims. In both cases the information was inaccurate. In both cases, UNESCO played a role.

It is evident that the country continues to face a major challenge in terms of youth and adult literacy.  Among others because in modern times it is acknowledged that literacy is a long process that is not aimed at "eradicating illiteracy" but at ensuring that people effectively learn to read and write and use reading and writing in their daily lives.

Related texts in this blog

Adult education: The inclusive classroom


DVV International 2017



If we mean inclusion in its broadest sense, no education is more inclusive than adult education. What is lacking in infrastructure and general conditions for teaching and learning is made up for by empathy, resilience, flexibility, companionship and solidarity. Challenges that are difficult to achieve in the formal education system are almost naturally found in adult education: collaborative learning, intergenerational learning, family education and community education.

Age remains the most discriminatory factor in education, despite the rhetoric of lifelong learning; education, the right to education, and even learning, remain closely associated with childhood. Adult education centres break with this logic, even though they cannot overcome prejudice by themselves. From adolescents aged 15, or younger, through to people aged 90 or older, everyone can share the same space and learn together, often challenging policies that restrict learners’ ages. The rigidity of the classroom organised by age, typical of formal education, does not apply in adult education.


Literacy centres throughout the world are characterised by a sizeable presence of women – women who see in literacy an opportunity not only to learn, but also to socialise, to meet other women, to escape for a few hours from the overwhelming slavery of domestic tasks.


Adult education spaces are generally spaces for intercultural learning in which people from different places, ethnic groups and cultures converge. Many times they are not only multicultural environments, but also multilingual.


Adult education welcomes people with all kinds of disabilities. The “solutions” I have seen in many centres have shown me the best in human beings and blurred the boundaries between the possible and the impossible.


Adolescents and pregnant women, often regarded with disapproval and even rejected from formal classrooms, are welcome in adult classrooms. Here the multi-remedial can find a place to try again, without fear. I have seen LGBTI people fully integrated into the group, and foreigners feel at home. Even religious, ideological and political differences may go unnoticed or be actively tolerated in these centres.


Adult education centres are living laboratories for solving economic, social and cultural problems in precarious material conditions but with considerable human and creative wealth. It is unfair that adult education, which contributes and teaches so much, remains so misunderstood, discriminated against and underappreciated in our societies.

Related texts in this blog

» Sobre aprendizaje de jóvenes y adultos | On youth and adult learning (compilation)

Comments on "The New Skills Agenda for Europe"

 Participation at "ICAE Virtual Seminar on Skills and Competencies", 
organized by the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) together with DVV International in April 2017.

Based on DVV International’s journal “Adult Education and Development“ Issue 83 (Dec. 2016)
The  journal is published once a year in English, French and Spanish.

En español: Comentarios a "La Nueva Agenda de Capacidades para Europa"

Rosa María Torres. Ecuadorian, researcher, international adviser, specialist in literacy and Lifelong Learning, Ex-minister of Education and Cultures.

My comments refer to, and are triggered by, "The new Skills Agenda for Europe" by Dana Bachmann and Paul Holdsworth, of the European Commission.

I speak here from the perspective of "developing countries" and of Latin America in particular. From this perspective it is always useful to see what Europeans are thinking and doing, not necessarily to do the same but rather to understand better our specific realities and needs. In the end, given the strong cultural dependence, our governments end up trying to follow and imitate Europe and/or North America (the classic "developing"/"developed" notion). Concepts, indicators, ideals, international co-operation, focus generally on the global North.

The paper presents The New Skills Agenda for Europe, which sees skills as a pathway to employability and prosperity. The Agenda revolves around some problems and data identified as critical:

- A quarter of the European adult population (70 million) struggles with reading and writing, and has poor numeracy and digital skills, putting them at risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion.

- More than 65 million people have not achieved a qualification corresponding to upper secondary level. This rate varies significantly across countries, reaching 50% or more in some.

- The adults mostly in need of engaging in learning participate very little in lifelong learning. On average, only 10.7% of adult Europeans participated in any education and training in 2014, with significant variation between countries and against an EU target of 15% set to be reached by 2020. An analysis of the participation of low-qualified adults in education and training shows even lower participation rates, varying from below 1% in some countries to over 20% in others. On average in the EU only 4.3% of low-qualified adults – that is, the group most in need of learning – participate in education and training.

To improve the employment opportunities and overall life chances of low-skilled adults, the Commission has made a proposal to help low-skilled adults – both in-work and out of work – to improve their literacy, numeracy and digital skills and, where possible, to develop a wider set of skills leading to an upper secondary education qualification or equivalent.

The proposal is that Member States should introduce a Skills Guarantee, which would involve offering to low qualified adults: (a) a skills assessment, enabling them to identify their existing skills and their upskilling needs; (b) a package of education or training tailored to the specific learning needs of each individual, and (c) opportunities to have their skills validated and recognised.

The Agenda is structured around three priority areas: more and better skills; put the skills developed to good use; and better understand what skills will be demanded to help people choose what skills to develop.

These main challenges are identified:

- Improving the quality and relevance of skills formation.
- Strengthening the foundation: basic skills (literacy, numeracy, digital skills) for everybody ("the proposal for a Skills Guarantee aims to provide low qualified adults access to flexible tailored upskilling pathways to improve these skills or progress towards an upper secondary qualification").
- Making vocational education and training (VET) a first choice. Increasing its attractiveness, through quality provision and flexible organisation, allowing progression to higher vocational or academic learning, and closer links with the world of work.
- Building resilience: key competences and higher, more complex skills. These include literacy, numeracy, science and foreign languages, as well as transversal skills and key competences such as digital competences, entrepreneurship, critical thinking, problem solving or learning to learn, and financial literacy. 
- Getting connected: focus on digital skills.
- Making skills and qualifications more visible and comparable.
- Improving transparency and comparability of qualifications.
- Early profiling of migrants’ skills and qualifications.
- Improving skills intelligence and information for better career choices.
- Better information for better choices.
- Boosting skills intelligence and cooperation in economic sectors.
- Better understanding the performance of graduates from Universities and VET.

My comments and suggestions


The diagnosis and the proposal are centred around formal education and training. This remains, in fact, the main international approach to adult education and to education in general. The "being knowledgeable" dimension of UNDP's Human Development Index (HDI) continues to refer to education and to formal education only, all ages: expected years of schooling, adult literacy rate, government expenditure on education, gross enrolment ratio all levels, mean years of schooling, population with at least some secondary education, primary school dropout rate, primary school teachers trained to teach, and pupil-teacher ratio in primary school. (As we see, two indicators are related to adult education: adult literacy rate, and population with at least some secondary education). It is with these indicators that countries' educational profile is defined. 

Without ignoring the importance of these data and of the formal education system, I would like to stress the need to: revisit some concepts; insist on the critical importance of non-formal education and of informal learning not only in adult life but throughout life; consider other ways of thinking/organising the question of learning for what; radically rethink the eternal struggle with literacy and numeracy; and reconsider adulthood and the adult age. Also, the understanding of 'low-skilled adults' must be made explicit and analysed in general and in each particular context.

» Schooling versus education  Education exceeds schooling. Many adults are eager to advance their education, not necessarily to get more schooling (i.e. completing primary and secondary education). For many young people and adults, completing secondary education implies a tremendous effort, meeting a bureaucratic requisite rather than having a pleasant and fruitful learning experience, and the economic and social reward may not be the one expected.

» Education/training versus learning  Skills are not developed only through deliberate education and training efforts. Most skills are developed through a combination of formal and non-formal education and informal learning (reading, writing, parenting, arts, sports, work, travel, social participation, volunteering, social service, etc.).

» Literacy and numeracy  They continue to be considered basic skills and they continue to be major problems throughout the world, in both 'developed' and 'developing' countries. In 'developing' countries, it is very common that people counted as 'new literates' often do not read and write autonomously and thus do not get to use reading and writing in their daily life. Also, often there is no evaluation involved, and no follow-up. We must radically rethink and improve the ways we conceptualize and do adult literacy, and stop cheating ourselves with fake statistics.

» Digital skills  In most 'developing countries' access to the Internet is still limited (50% or less of the population). Cell phones are widely used, also by adults and by the poor. But it is the younger generations that makes the most use of computers and of the internet. Internet policies focus on children and youth. Little is being done, and much more should be done, to offer adults and older adults meaningful access to the digital world.

» Learning for what?  There are many ways to think of, and deal with, this question. Well-being and prosperity mean different things to different people and cultures throughout the world. Sumak Kawsay (Buen Vivir, Good Living), the indigenous paradigm proposed as an alternative to the development paradigm, understands Buen Vivir as reaching a harmonious relationship between self, others, and the environment. Thus, 'learning for what' becomes learning to take care of oneself, learning to take care of others (family, community, peers), and learning to take care of the environment. These tree domains lead to a holistic, alternative understanding of the whys, hows, and what fors of education and learning.

» Adults and the adult age  Life expectancy has grown all over the world. As a result, the adult age has expanded. However, and despite the lifelong learning rhetoric, adults continue to be denied the right to education and the right to learn. Today, in too many countries, education policies and programmes do not go beyond the age of 30 or 35. It is time to organize adulthood in different age groups for education, training and learning purposes. While we oversegment childhood, adolescence and youth, we continue to refer to adulthood and to adult education as something that covers from 15 year-olds to 95 year-olds. A very effective strategy to ignore older adults and to amputate the lifelong learning concept.

Related recent texts of mine in this blog (English/Spanish)

- "Rethinking education" and adult education, Regional consultation with civil society on the document "Rethinking education: Towards a global common view?", ICAE-UNESCO, Brasilia, 25 April 2016.
- "Replantear la educación" y la educación de adultos, Consulta regional de la sociedad civil "El derecho a la educación de personas jóvenes y adultas desde una perspectiva de aprendizaje a lo largo de la vida", ICAE-UNESCO, Brasilia, 25 abril 2016.

- What is youth and adult education today? (2017)
- ¿Qué es educación de jóvenes y adultos, hoy? (2017)

- Formal, non-formal and informal learning (2016)
- Aprendizaje formal, no-formal e informal (2016)

- Giving up to a literate world?, in: Adult Education and Development, Issue 80, December 2013.
- ¿Renuncia a un mundo alfabetizado?, en: Educación de Adultos y Desarollo, número 80, Diciembre 2013

- From Literacy to Lifelong Learning: Trends, Issues and Challenges of Youth and Adult Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, Regional Report prepared for the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education - CONFINTEA VI, organized by UNESCO. Belém, Brazil, 1-4 December 2009.
Report commissioned by UIL-UNESCO.
- De la alfabetización al aprendizaje a lo largo de la vida: Tendencias, temas y desafíos de la educación de personas jóvenes y adultas en América Latina y el Caribe, Informe Regional preparado para la VI Conferencia Internacional sobre Educación de Adultos - CONFINTEA VI, organizada por la UNESCO. Belém, Brasil, 1-4 diciembre 2009. Informe encargado por el UIL-UNESCO. Una contribución del Centro de Cooperación Regional para la Educación de Adultos en América Latina y el Caribe (CREFAL) a CONFINTEA VI.

- Social Education and Popular Education: A View from the South, Closing conference AIEJI XVII World Congress “The Social Educator in a Globalised World”, Copenhagen, Denmark, 4–7 May, 2009.

- Lteracy and Lifelong Learning: The Linkages, Conference at the 2006 Biennale of ADEA, Libreville, Gabon, March 27-31, 2006. 

- On youth and adult learning (compilation)
- Sobre aprendizaje de jóvenes y adultos (compilación)

- On Lifelong Learning (compilation)
- Sobre Aprendizaje a lo Largo de la Vida (compilación)

 

OTRA∃DUCACION - Texts in English


Poetic and Dreamlike Paper Cut Artworks - Fubiz

This is a bilingual blog. Most texts are published in Spanish. Here is a compilation of texts written in English (alphabetical order).

10 false ideas on education in Finland
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2016/03/10-false-ideas-on-education-in-finland.html

 

12 Theses on Educational Change
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2010/12/12-theses-on-educational-change.html

1990-2015: Education for All Educación para Todos (compilation)
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2014/08/1990-2015-education-for-all-educacion.html

1990-2030: Global education goals
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/09/1990-2030-global-education-goals-metas.html

25 Years of Education for All
http://educacion-para-todos.blogspot.com/2013/03/25-anos-de-educacion-para-todos-25.html

About 'good practice' in international co-operation in education
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/11/what-would-be-good-practice-in.html

Adult Literacy in Latin America and the Caribbean: Plans and Goals 1980-2015
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/05/adult-literacy-in-latin-amrica-and.html

Basic learning needs: Different frameworks
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/11/basic-learning-needs-different.html

Beautiful letters
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/07/lindas-letras-beautiful-letters.html


Child learning and adult learning revisited

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2012/02/child-learning-and-adult-learning.html

Children of the Basarwa (Botswana)
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2010/09/children-of-basarwa.html

Children's right to basic education
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2010/11/childrens-right-to-basic-education.html

Children's rights: A community learning experience in Senegal
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2010/01/children-rights-community-learning.html

Cuba and Finland
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/06/cuba-and-finland.html

Ecuador's literacy fiascohttp://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2017/10/ecuadors-literacy-fiasco.html

Education First

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2012/09/educacion-primero-education-first.html


Ecuador: Good Bye to Community and Alternative Education
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/11/ecuador-good-bye-to-community-and.html

Education for adaptation?
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2010/10/educacion-adaptarse-un-mundo-cambiante.html

Education for All 2000-2015 - How did Latin America and the Caribbean do?
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/04/education-for-all-2000-2015-how-did.html 

Education in the Information Society
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/05/education-in-information-society.html

Escuela Nueva: An innovation within formal education (Colombia)
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/11/escuela-nueva-innovation-within-formal.html

Farewells
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/06/despedidas-farewells.html


Finland Study Visit

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.fi/2015/10/visita-de-estudio-finlandia-finland-study-visit.html


Finland's education compared

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/07/finlands-education-compared-la.html


Formal, non-formal and informal learning

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2016/08/formal-non-formal-and-informal-learning_21.html


From literacy to lifelong learning: Trends, Issues and Challenges of Youth and Adult Education in Latin America and the Caribbean

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/05/from-literacy-to-lifelong-learning-de.html

From school community to learning community
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/03/from-school-community-to-learning.html

Goal 4: Education - Sustainable Development Goals
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/09/on-goal-4-education-sustainable.html
- SDG: Translation issues
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/09/sdg-translation-issues-ods-problemas-de.html

Girls' education: Lessons from BRAC (Bangladesh)
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2017/01/girls-education-lessons-from-brac.html


Giving up to a literate world?

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/11/giving-up-to-literate-world.html

GLEACE: Letter to UNESCO on the Literacy Decade (2003-2012)
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2012/01/letter-to-unesco-on-literacy-decade.html

Kazi, the Graceless
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2010/09/kazi-el-sin-gracia.html

Knowledge-based international aid: Do we want it? Do we need it?
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/10/knowldedge-based-international-aid-do.html

Latin America over-satisfied with public education
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2014/06/latin-america-oversatisfied-with-public.html

Latin America: Six decades of education goals http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2016/09/latin-america-six-decades-of-education-goals.html

Lifelong Learning: moving beyond Education for All
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/02/lifelong-learning-moving-beyond.html

Lifelong Learning for the North, Primary Education for the South?
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/11/lifelong-learning-for-north-primary.html

Lifelong Learning in the South: Critical Issues and Opportunities for Adult Education, Sida Studies 11, Stockholm, 2004
http://www.sida.se/English/publications/Publication_database/publications-by-year1/2004/november/lifelong-learning-in-the-south-critical-issues-and-opportunities-for-adult-education/ 
http://www.sida.se/contentassets/d60c67d64bf947b1b147419f7751a466/lifelong-learning-in-the-south-critical-issues-and-opportunities-for-adult-education_1614.pdf

Literacy and Lifelong Learning: The linkages
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2012/01/literacy-and-lifelong-learning-linkages.html

Literacy for All: A renewed vision
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/02/literacy-for-all-renewed-vision.html

Literacy for All: A United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012): Base Document for the Literacy Decade (2000)
http://www.slideshare.net/RosaMariaTorres2015/base-document-united-nations-literacy-decade-20032012


Military spending in education
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/03/military-spending-and-education-gasto.html

Now comes PISA for 'developing countries'
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2014/05/now-comes-pisa-for-developing-countries.html

On education in Finland
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/06/on-education-in-finland-sobre-la.html
 
On innovation and change in education
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/03/on-innovation-and-change-in-education.html

On Learning Anytime, Anywhere (WISE 2011)
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/11/on-learning-anytime-anywhere.html

One child, one teacher, one book and one pen
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/10/one-child-one-teacher-one-book-and-one-pen-one.html

One Decade of 'Education for All': The Challenge Ahead (IIEP-UNESCO Buenos Aires, 2000, PDF)
http://www.iipe-buenosaires.org.ar/publicaciones/one-decade-education-all-challenge-ahead
http://www.buenosaires.iipe.unesco.org/sites/default/files/education.pdf 

Open letter to school children
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2010/08/open-letter-to-school-children.html 

OTRA∃DUCACION: Lo más visitado ▸ Most visited
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/12/otraducacion-lo-mas-visitado-most.html

Public gym stations in Beijing and Quito
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/10/chinas-public-gym-stations-in-beijing-and-quito.html


Reaching the Unreached: Non-Formal Approaches and Universal Primary Education

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/06/reaching-unreached-non-formal.html

"Rethinking education" and adult education

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2016/08/rethinking-education-and-adult-education.html


Six 'Education for All' Goals

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/01/six-education-for-all-goals-seis-metas.html

South Africa 1993: A moment with Mandela
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/12/south-africa-1993-moment-with-mandela.html

Stop PISA!
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2014/05/stop-pisa-paren-pisa.html

The 4 As as criteria to identify 'good practices' in education
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/10/4-as-as-criteria-to-identify-good.html 

The green, the blue, the red and the pink schools
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2010/10/green-blue-red-and-pink-schools.html

There is no "education for the 21st century"
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2010/10/there-is-no-education-for-21st-century.html

The million Paulo Freires
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2011/02/million-paulo-freires.html

The oldest and the youngest

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-oldest-and-youngest-los-mas-viejos.html


The virtuous C (Keys for a renewed learning culture)

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/01/la-virtuosa-c-virtuous-c.html

The World Economic Forum and education quality

http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-world-economic-forum-and.html

Transforming formal education from a lifelong learning perspective
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/10/transforming-formal-education-from.html

We are Latin America
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2012/05/somos-america-latina-we-are-latin.html

What did the MDGs achieve?  
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/10/what-did-millennium-development-goals-achieve.html


What Happened at the World Education Forum in Dakar (2000)?
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2015/05/what-happened-at-world-education-forum.html

What is 'basic education'?
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2014/09/what-happened-to-expanded-vision-of.html

What is youth and adult education - today? http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2017/01/what-is-youth-and-adult-education-today.html

WISE Prize for Education Laureates: Bottom-up Innovators
http://otra-educacion.blogspot.com/2013/11/wise-prize-for-education-laureates.html



Global learning crisis?

Rosa María Torres
Texto en español: ¿Crisis global de aprendizaje?

Global learning crisis?. The question refers to the term learning. We claim that speaking of a "learning crisis" has the risk of blaming the victim, of not acknowledging the teaching crisis behind such learning crisis, and of ignoring the dysfunctionality and responsibility of the education system in a holistic way. Also, the term learning crisis is very attractive for the evaluation machinery eager to assist with all sorts of standardized tests. We also discuss the need to acknowledge teacher learning and not only student learning; teachers' own learning is also in crisis. Finally, we reaffirm that the identified learning crisis affects not only poor countries but also rich ones, and is thus really global.

Children are not learning in school

A major 'discovery' came up from the extensive international meetings and deliberations stimulated by the 2015 deadline for the Education for All - EFA goals (1990-2000-2015) and the Millennium Development Goals - MDG (2000-2015): millions of children are not learning in school. Of the 650 million primary school age children in the world, 250 million are not learning the basics (reading, writing, counting), even after 3 or more years of schooling.
In 2011, of 41 countries surveyed:
- after 4 years or less in school: 1 in 4 children are unable to read all or part of a sentence
- after 5-6 years in school: 1 in 3 children are unable to read all or part of a sentence
- 61% of children who cannot read are girls
- 25% of children in low and middle income countries cannot read.
Illustration: Claudius Ceccon

The term illiteracy applies not only to adults but to children as well. Illiteracy is linked to lack of access to school, but also to access to poor quality and insufficient education, and to lack of opportunities for reading and writing. The combination of poverty and poor teaching, poor learning and poor reading conditions reinforces the worst predictions for the poor.

In 'developing countries' we know this for a long time. Completing four years of school, prescribed by the MDGs as equivalent to 'primary education', is clearly insufficient to make a child literate - able to read, write and calculate in real life situations - especially if that child comes from deprived socio-economic contexts and subordinate languages and cultures.

Same thing is true with adult literacy: the usual quick literacy programmes - more concerned with statistics than with actual learning - leave people half way, with weak and volatile reading and writing skills. A short 'post-literacy' programme does not add much. Just like children, young people and adults need a solid basic education, and exposure to reading and writing environments and acts.

Not being able to read and write is one of the main causes of school repetition in the early years of schooling worldwide. There is no scientific or even rational reason behind the idea that children must learn to read and write in one or two years. And yet, this is often mandated by national education policies and authorities. 'Failure' is typically attributed to the students rather than to the system and to those in charge of defining policies and curricula.

Few countries give students and teachers enough time to make a joyful and meaningful literacy process. Brazil - well known for its high repetition rates and its long-entrenched 'school repetition culture' - groups together the first three years of primary education, called 'literacy cycle'.

We, specialists, have been saying for decades that literacy education must be seen as an objective for at least the whole of primary education, if not for basic education (primary and lower secondary education, according to ISCED). We have also been saying that, given the importance and complexity of the task, groups in the early grades must be rather small and the best teachers should be assigned to such grades (Finland does it), challenging the logic and usual practice of school systems worldwide.

The acknowledgement by the international community of the school 'global learning crisis' comes a bit late, when the deadline for both MDG and EFA goals is coming to an end, after 15 and 25 years respectively. Hopefully such recognition will lead to world awareness and will help reshape the post-2015 education agenda worldwide.

Learning was one of the six Education for All goals approved in Jomtien, Thailand, in 1990, at the launch of the Education for All initiative. (Goal 3: Improvement in learning achievement such that an agreed percentage of an appropriate age cohort - e.g. 80% of 14 year-olds - attains or surpasses a defined level of necessary learning achievement). Ten years later, at the World Education Forum in Dakar (2000), that goal was eliminated and learning was mentioned only in reference to young people and adults (Goal 3: "Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life skills programmes"). That same year, the Millennium Development Goals were approved; the two goals referred to education did not mention learning.


It is definitely time to move beyond quantitative goals of access and completion, and to incorporate learning at the core of all education goals. It is time to apply the terms 'universalization' or 'democratization' not just to enrollment or completion of a certain school level, but to learning. It is time to assume that the right to education is no longer the right to access formal schooling but the right to learn.

"Global learning crisis"? - Blaming the victim

There was apparently consensus in choosing the term "global learning crisis". It is certainly global: the crisis affects not only poor but also rich countries. On the other hand, it is clear that acknowledging the learning crisis in the school system implies acknowledging the teaching crisis as well. Speaking of a learning crisis has the risk of missing the point, by placing the problem on the side of the learners rather than on the system.

Illustration: Claudius Ceccon

Blaming the victim is daily practice in the school culture. But we know - or should know - that if children are not learning in schools it is not because they are stupid but because the school system - not only teachers individually -- is unable to teach them properly and the social system is unable to offer them adequate learning conditions in and out of school (family welbeing, affection, protection, nutrition, health, sleep, security, etc.).

Both the learning crisis and the teaching crisis are related to an obsolete and dysfunctional school system that needs major changes if we want to ensure learning, learning to learn, and learning to enjoy learning.

Teacher training appears typically as the main 'solution' to educational quality and to student learning. However, even if important, teacher training is not enough. There are other quality factors related to teachers (salaries, professionalism, respect and social appreciation, participation in educational policies and decisions, etc.) and other internal and external factors intervening in school success or failure.

When it comes to teaching and learning, let us not forget that:

(a) The "global learning crisis" affects not only 'developing countries' - focus of Education for All and other international education reports and debates - but also 'developed countries'. Concern and complaints about poor reading and writing skills among primary and high-school students are common and increasingly voiced in rich - OECD - countries.

(b) The "global learning crisis" affects not only students but teachers as well. Millions of school teachers receive inadequate and poor pre- and in-service training, where they learn nothing or what they learn is not relevant and useful for their professional practice and development. There is huge waste of money and time in teacher education and training that do not translate into meaningful teacher learning

(c) Students are blamed for not learning and teachers are blamed for not teaching (or for not teaching in ways that ensure desirable student learning). However, the teaching role is not exclusive of teachers. The whole school system has been designed and operates as a teaching system. And this teaching system - the way we know it - is not adequate for learning and for learners.

Illustration: Frato

Even if teachers are trained, and even if they are well trained and paid, the learning crisis - including their own - is there. The label "global learning crisis" may activate the assessment and evaluation machinery, with its fierce competition, standardized tests, and rankings, rather than stimulate the long postponed and much needed teaching-learning revolution.

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