September 2017

Central Asian Adult Education Forum dedicated to Community Learning Centres held in Kyrgyzstan.

The regional event on “Community Learning Centres: international Trends and best Practices”, which was organised for the second time was held on 7-9 September 2017 at the lake Issyk-Kul resort “Akun” in Kyrgyzstan. The Forum this year was organised in close cooperation with the UNESCO Cluster office for Central Asia with the expert support of UNESCO Institute for lifelong learning (UIL) and explored the role of Community Learning Centres in the provision of lifelong learning and offered a discussion platform for interested specialists working in adult education and lifelong learning fields with an emphasis on non-formal education sector in Central Asia.

The regional event on “Community Learning Centres: international Trends and best Practices”, which was organised for the second time was held on 7-9 September 2017 at the lake Issyk-Kul resort “Akun” in Kyrgyzstan. The Forum this year was organised in close cooperation with the UNESCO Cluster office for Central Asia with the expert support of UNESCO Institute for lifelong learning (UIL) and explored the role of Community Learning Centres in the provision of lifelong learning and offered a discussion platform for interested specialists working in adult education and lifelong learning fields with an emphasis on non-formal education sector in Central Asia.

45-55 representatives (policy- and decision-makers, experts, practitioners) from governmental and non-governmental sectors of the countries of the region - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as participants/experts from the following countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Moldova, Palestinian territories, South Korea, Thailand and Ukraine participated in the Forum.

The Forum lasted three days and was held in a form of plenary sessions with key reports and presentations, panel discussions, group works, and other interactive forms on the SDG 4 agenda, global and regional content on lifelong learning, adult education, CLCs, presentations from each country from Central Asia, successful examples from other countries as well as working sessions on developing content for lifelong learning and CLCs.

Central Asian countries assumed responsibility to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Agenda. In order to attain Sustainable development goal 4 (SDG 4) it is necessary to implement fundamental reforms in the education system. One of the key elements of such reforms is the encouragement to develop a range of diversified educational offers, forms and institutes that can flexibly react to citizens’ needs and ensure their access to education/learning, particularly in remote regions.

In this context, the Community Learning Centre model can become attractive for Central Asian countries. Replication and adaptation of the CLC model can ensure access to learning and education for different groups of population regardless of age, bring education/learning “closer to home”, contribute to economic development by making a location more attractive in terms of human resources for potential investment projects, increase the effectiveness of the existing funding, which would stimulate the development of non-formal education, learning and culture (local centres of culture, youth centres, entrepreneurship support centres, etc.).

CLCs could mainstream 21st century competences, provide education for sustainable development, global citizenship education, multicultural dialogue (SDG target 4.7), develop ICT education, entrepreneurship and TVET-skills to strengthen a link with the labour market, as well as pass national heritage experience from the old to the young generation.

 The Forum participants from the Central Asian region adopted a Call for Action as an outcome document of the event, which will be handed over to decision makers of the respective countries.

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