Tuesday, January 31, 2006

UNESCO Literacy Portal

Go to the Literacy Portal.

The Literacy Portal aims to provide a platform for information-sharing on literacy projects and activities undertaken around the world and enhance UNESCO’s capacity in coordinating the United Nation Literacy Decade (UNLD) in building partnership at all level.

This portal will be developed progressively through the contribution of all literacy actors; including UNESCO Field Offices, UN Agencies, bilateral and multilateral Organizations, Member States, Institutions, Non-governmental Organizations and Literacy workers. It will be a working tool to provide them more visibility and networking possibilities.

A major task for UNESCO is to support Member States in policy reforms, especially the design and implementation of EFA policies and action plans as well as of legal instruments for promoting universal access to basic education. One way of implementing the right to education is to work towards literacy.

Faced with an increasing gap between literates and illiterates in terms of social, civic and economic opportunities, UNESCO focus its efforts towards achieving literacy for all, targeting principally girls and women. On the other hand, emphasis is placed on an education that helps to meet the challenges of poverty and exclusion by promoting life skills and access to the world of work, in particular through technical and vocational education.

UNESCO recommends several strategies for literacy work at the country level with a view towards achieving education for all – recommendations also articulated in the International Plan of Action for the United Nations Literacy Decade. These are:

1. placing literacy at the centre of national education systems and development efforts;

2. giving equal importance to formal and non-formal education modalities;

3. promoting an environment supportive of literacy and a culture of reading in schools and communities;

4. ensuring community involvement in literacy programmes as well as their local ownership;

5. building partnerships particularly at the national level, but also at sub regional, regional and international levels, between government, civil society, the private sector and local communities;

6. developing at all levels systematic monitoring and assessment supported by research and data collection.

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