Guidelines on open and distance learning for youth and adult literacy published in Arabic
The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and UNESCO Cairo have just published the Arabic version of the ‘Guidelines on open and distance learning for youth and adult literacy’. These guidelines, initially launched in English in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), have now been translated into Arabic due to demand from Member States in the region. The publication is expected to support the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of open and distance learning (ODL)-based literacy programmes.
Worldwide, the number of youth and adult learners who lack basic literacy skills has risen due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, the future of 771 million learners is at stake. Many literacy providers have argued that systems around the world were insufficiently prepared to leverage technologies and provide online or distance education that would mitigate the total disruption of literacy programmes caused by the pandemic. Low capacities along with low financial investment and political will have been cited as the main contributors to this lack of preparedness.
ODL programmes can improve the current situation by helping providers employ alternative methods to ensure continued learning and skills development throughout life among youth and adults, particularly in times of crisis.
The UIL/COL guidelines support the full exploitation of the potential of ODL. The publication consists of two main parts. The first highlights steps for planning and implementing ODL in youth and adult literacy programmes. The second introduces the technologies commonly used in ODL for youth and adult literacy programmes, ranging from radio and television broadcasts to eLearning and online learning methods. It also includes practical ideas and resources that complement the general guidelines provided in Part 1. Among the tools provided are a planning checklist and a comprehensive list of open educational resources that can be used to incorporate ODL into literacy programmes.