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Recommendation on the Development of Adult Education

26 November 1976

Monitoring

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The General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, meeting in Nairobi from 26 October to 30 November 1976, at its nineteenth session,

Recalling the principles set forth in Articles 26 and 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, guaranteeing and specifying the right of everyone to education and to participate freely in cultural, artistic and scientific life and the principles set forth in Articles 13 and 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

Considering that education is inseparable from democracy, the abolition of privilege and the promotion within society as a whole of the ideas of autonomy, responsibility and dialogue,

Considering that the access of adults to education, in' the context of life-long education, is a fundamental aspect of the right to education and facilitates the exercise of the right to participate in political, cultural, artistic and scientific life,

Considering that for the full development of the human personality, particularly in view of the rapid pace of scientific, technical, economic and social change, education must be considered on a global basis and as a life-long process,

Considering that the development of adult education, in the context of lifelong education, is necessary as a means of achieving a more rational and more equitable distribution of educational resources between young people and adults, and between different social groups, and of ensuring better understanding and more effective collaboration between the generations and greater political, social and economic equality between social groups and between the sexes,

Bearing in mind the diversity of modes of training and education throughout the world and the special problems peculiar to the countries whose education systems are as yet underdeveloped or insufficiently adapted to national needs,

In order to give effect to the conclusions, declarations and recommendations formulated by the second and third international conferences on adult education (Montreal, 1960; Tokyo, 1972) and, as far as the relevant paragraphs are concerned, by the World Conference of the International Women's Year (Mexico, 1975),

Desirous of making a further contribution to putting into effect the principles set forth in the recommendations addressed by the International Conference on Public Education to the Ministries of Education concerning the access of women to education (Recommendation No. 34, 1952), facilities for education in rural areas (Recommendation No. 47, 1958), and literacy and adult education (Recommendation No. 58, 1965), in the Declaration adopted at the International Symposium for Literacy in Persepolis (1975) and in the Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace, and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms adopted by the General Conference at its eighteenth session (1974);

Taking note of the provisions of the Revised Recommendation concerning Technical and Vocational Education adopted by the General Conference at its eighteenth session (1974) and of resolution 3.426 adopted at the same session with a view to the adoption of an international instrument concerning action designed to ensure that the people at large have free democratic access to culture and an opportunity to take an active part in the cultural life of society,

Convinced that adult education as an integral part of life-long education can contribute decisively to economic and cultural development, social progress and world peace as well as to the, development of educational systems,

Considering that the experience acquired in adult education must constantly contribute to the renewal of educational methods, as well as to the reform of educational systems as a whole,

Considering the universal concern for literacy as being a crucial factor in political and economic development, in technological progress and in social and cultural change, so that its promotion should therefore form an integral part of any plan for adult education,

Reaffirming that the attainment of this objective entails creating situations in which the adults are able to choose, from among a variety of forms of educational activity the objectives and content of which have been defined with their collaboration, those forms which meet their needs most closely and are most directly related to their interests,

Noting further that the International Labour Conference has adopted a number of instruments concerned with various aspects of adult education, and in particular the recommendation on vocational guidance (1949), the re-commendation on vocational training in agriculture (1956), as well as the convention and recommendation concerning paid educational leave (1974), and of human resources development(1975),

Having decided, at its eighteenth session, that adult education would be the subject of a recommendation to Member States,

Adopts this twenty-sixth day of November 1976, the present Recommendation.


The General Conference recommends that Member States apply the following provisions by taking whatever legislative or other steps may be required, and in conformity with the constitutional practice of each State, to give effect to the principles set forth in this Recommendation.

The General Conference recommends that Member States bring this Recommendation to the attention of the authorities, departments or bodies responsible for adult education and also of the various organizations carrying out educational work for the benefit of adults, and of trade union organizations, associations, enterprises, and other interested parties.

The General Conference recommends that Member States report to it, at such dates and in such form as shall be determined by it, on the action taken by them in pursuance of this Recommendation.

I. Definition

1. In this Recommendation:

the term `adult education' denotes the entire body of organized educational processes, whatever the content, level and method, whether formal or otherwise, whether they prolong or replace initial education in schools, colleges and universities as well as in apprenticeship, whereby persons regarded as adult by the society to which they belong develop their abilities, enrich their knowledge, improve their technical or professional qualifications or turn them in a new direction and bring about changes in their attitudes or behavior in the twofold perspective of full personal development and participation in balanced and independent social, economic and cultural development; adult education, however, must not be considered as an entity in itself, it is a subdivision, and an integral part of, a global scheme for life-long education and learning;

the term 'life-long education and learning', for its part, denotes an overall scheme aimed both at restructuring the existing education system and at developing the entire educational potential outside the education system; creating an understanding of and respect for the diversity of customs and cultures, on both the national and the international planes; in such a scheme men and women are the agents of their own education, through continual interaction between their thoughts 'and actions; education and learning, far from being limited to the period of attendance at school, should extend throughout life, include all skills and branches of knowledge, use all possible means, and give the opportunity to all people for full development of the personality; the educational and learning processes in which children, young people and adults of all ages are involved in the course of their lives, in whatever form, should be considered as a whole.

II. Objectives and strategy

2. Generally speaking, the aims of adult education should be to contribute to :

(a) promoting work for peace, international understanding and co-operation;

(b) developing a critical understanding of major contemporary problems and social changes and the ability to play an active part in the progress of society with a view to achieving social justice;

(c) promoting increased awareness of the relationship between people and their physical and cultural environment, and fostering the desire to improve the environment and to respect and protect nature, the common heritage and public property;

(d) creating an understanding of and respect for the diversity of customs and cultures, on both the national and the international planes;

(e) promoting increased awareness of, and giving effect to various forms of communication and solidarity at the family, local, national, regional and international levels ;

(f) developing the aptitude for acquiring, either individually, in groups or in the context of organized study in educational establishments specially set up, for this purpose, new knowledge, qualifications, attitudes or forms of behavior conducive to the full maturity of the personality;

(g) ensuring the individuals' conscious and effective incorporation into working life by providing men and women with an advanced technical and vocational education and developing the ability to create, either individually or in groups, new material goods and new spiritual or aesthetic values;

(h) developing the ability to grasp adequately the problems involved in the upbringing of children;

(i) developing the aptitude for making creative use of leisure and for acquiring any necessary or desired knowledge;

(j) developing the necessary discernment in using mass communication media, in particular radio, television, cinema and the press, and interpreting the various messages addressed to modem men and women by society ;

(k) developing the aptitude for learning to learn.

3. Adult education should be based on the following principles :

(a) it should be based on the needs of the participants and make use of their different experiences in the development of adult education; the most educationally underprivileged groups should be given the highest priority within a perspective of collective advancement;

(b) it should rely on the ability and determination of all human beings to make progress throughout their lives both at the level of their personal development and in relation to their social activity;

(c) it should awaken an interest in reading and develop cultural aspirations ;

(d) it should stimulate and sustain the interest of adult learners, appeal to their experience, strengthen their self-reliance, and enlist their active participation at all stages of the educational process in which they are involved ;

(e) it should be adapted to the actual conditions of everyday life and work and take into account the personal characteristics of adult learners, their age, family, social, occupational or residential background and the way in which these interrelate;

(f) it should seek the participation of individual adults, groups and communities in decision-making at all levels of the learning process; including determination of needs, curriculum development, programme implementation and evaluation and should plan educational activities with a view to the transformation of the working environment and of the life of adults ;

(g) it should be organized and operated flexibly by taking into account social, cultural, economic and institutional factors of each country and society to which adult learners belong;

(h) it should contribute to the economic and social development of the entire community;

(i) it should recognize as an integral part of the educational process the forms of collective organization established by adults with a view to solving their day-to-day problems;

(j) it should recognize that every adult, by virtue of his or her experience of life, is the vehicle of a culture which enables him or her to play the role of both learner and teacher in the educational process in which he or she participates.

4. Each Member State should:

(a) recognize adult education as a necessary and specific component of its education system and as a permanent element in its social, cultural and economic development policy; it should, consequently, promote the creation of structures, the preparation and implementation of programmes and the application of educational methods which meet the needs and aspirations of all categories of adults, without restriction on grounds of sex, race, geographical origin, age, social status, opinion, belief or prior educational standard;

(b) recognize that although, in a given situation or for a specific period, adult education may play a compensatory role, it is not intended as a substitute for adequate youth education which is a prerequisite for the-full success of adult education;

(c) in eliminating the isolation of women from adult education, work towards ensuring equality of access and full participation in the entire range of adult education activities, including those which provide training for qualifications leading to activities or responsibilities which have hitherto been reserved for men;

(d) take measures with a view to promoting participation in adult education and community development programmes by members of the most under-privileged groups, whether rural or urban, settled or nomadic, and in particular illiterates, young people who have been unable to acquire an adequate standard of general education or a qualification, migrant workers and refugees, unemployed workers, members of ethnic minorities, persons suffering from a physical or mental handicap, persons experiencing difficulties of social adjustment and those serving prison sentences. In this context, Member States should associate themselves in the search for educational strategies designed to foster more equitable relations among social groups.

5. The place of adult education in each education system should be defined with a view to achieving

(a) a rectification of the main inequalities in access to initial education and training, in particular inequalities based on age, sex, social position or social or geographical origin;

(b) the assurance of a scientific basis for life-long education and learning as well as greater flexibility in the way in which people divide their lives between -education and work, and, in particular, providing for the alternation of periods of education and work throughout the life span, and facilitating the integration of continuing education into the activity of work itself;

(c) recognition, and increased exploitation, of the actual or potential educational value of the adult's various experiences;

(d) easy transfer from one type or level of education to another;

(e) greater interaction between the education action system and its social, cultural
and economic setting;

(f) greater efficiency from the point of view of the contribution of educational expenditure to social, cultural and economic development.

6. Consideration should be given to the need for an adult education component, including literacy, in the framing and execution of any development programme.

7. The objectives and goals of adult education policy should be incorporated in national development plans; they should be defined in relation to the overall objectives of education policy and of social, cultural and economic development policies. Adult education and other forms of education, particularly school and higher education and initial vocational training, should be conceived and organized as equally essential components in a coordinated but differentiated education system according to the tenets of life-long education and learning.

8. Measures should be taken to encourage the public authorities, institutions or bodies engaged in education, voluntary associations, workers' and employers' organizations, and those directly participating in adult education, to collaborate in the task of defining further and giving effect to these objectives.

III. Content of adult education

9. Adult education activities, viewed as forming part of life-long education and learning, have no theoretical boundaries and should meet the particular situations created by the specific needs of development, of participation in community life and of individual self-fulfillment; they cover all aspects of life and all fields of knowledge and are addressed to all people whatever their level of achievement. In defining the content of adult education activities priority should be given to the specific needs of the educationally most underprivileged groups.

10. Civic, political, trade union and co-operative education activities should be aimed particularly towards developing independent and critical judgment and implanting or enhancing the abilities required by each individual in order to cope with changes affecting living and working conditions, by effective participation in the management of social affairs at every level of the decision making process.

11. While not excluding approaches intended to achieve a short-term solution in a particular situation, technical and vocational education activities should as a general rule emphasize the acquisition of qualifications which are sufficiently broad to allow of subsequent changes of occupation and a critical understanding of the problems of working life. It is necessary to integrate general and civic education with technical and vocational education.

12. Activities designed to promote cultural development and artistic creation should encourage appreciation of existing cultural and artistic values and works and, at the same time, should aim to promote the creation of new values and new works, by releasing the expressive capabilities inherent in each individual or group.

13. Participation in adult education should not be restricted on grounds of sex, race, geographical origin, culture, age, social status, experience, belief and prior educational standard.

14. With regard to women, adult education activities should be integrated as far as possible with the whole contemporary social movement directed towards achieving self-determination for women and enabling them to contribute to the life of society as a collective force, and should thus focus specifically on certain aspects, in particular:

(a) the establishment in each society of conditions of equality between men and women ;

(b) the emancipation of men and women from the preconceived models imposed on them by society in every field in which they carry responsibility;

(c) civic, occupational, psychological, cultural and economic autonomy for women as a necessary condition for their existence as complete individuals ;

(d) knowledge about the status of women, and about women's movements, in various societies, with a view to increased solidarity across frontiers.

15. With regard to settled or nomadic rural populations, adult education activities should be designed in particular to :

(a) enable them to use technical procedures and methods of individual or joint organization likely to improve their standard of living without obliging them to forgo their own values;

(b) put an end to the isolation of individuals or groups ;

(c) prepare individuals or groups of individuals who are obliged, despite the efforts made to prevent excessive depopulation of rural areas, to leave agriculture, either to engage in a new occupational activity while remaining in a rural environment, or to leave this environment for a new way of life.

16. With regard to such persons or groups as have remained illiterate or are experiencing difficulty in adjusting to society because of the slenderness of their resources, their limited education or their restricted participation in community life, adult education activities should be designed not only to enable them to acquire basic knowledge (reading, writing, arithmetic, basic understanding of natural and social phenomena), but also to make it easier for them to engage in productive work, to promote their self-awareness and their grasp of the problems of hygiene, health, household management and the upbringing of children, and to enhance their autonomy and increase their participation in community life.

17. With regard to young people who have been unable to acquire an adequate standard of general education or a qualification, adult education activities should, in particular, enable them to acquire additional general education with a view to developing their ability to understand the problems of society and shoulder social responsibilities, and to gaining access to the vocational training and general education which are necessary for the exercise of an occupational activity.

18. If people wish to acquire educational or vocational qualifications which are formally attested by certificates of education or of vocational aptitude and which, for social or economic reasons, they have not been able to obtain earlier, adult education should enable them to obtain the training required for the award of such certificates.

19. With regard to the physically or mentally handicapped, adult education activities should be designed, in particular, to restore or offset the physical or mental capacities which have been impaired or lost as a result of their handicap, and to enable them to acquire the knowledge and skills and, where necessary, the professional qualifications required for their social life and for the exercise of an occupational activity compatible with their handicap.

20. With regard to migrant workers, refugees, and ethnic minorities, adult education activities should in particular:

(a) enable them to acquire the linguistic and general knowledge as well as the technical or professional qualifications necessary for their temporary or permanent assimilation in the society of the host country and, where appropriate, their reassimilation in the society of their country of origin;

(b) keep them in touch with culture, current developments and social changes in their country of origin.

21. With regard to unemployed persons, including the educated unemployed, adult education activities should be designed, in particular, to adapt or modify their technical or professional qualification with a view to enabling them to find or return to employment and to promote a critical understanding of their socio-economic situation.

22. With regard to ethnic minorities, adult education activities should enable them to express themselves freely, educate themselves and their children in their mother tongues, develop their own cultures and learn languages other than their mother tongues.

23. With regard to the aged, adult education activities should be designed, in particular :

(a) to give all a better understanding of contemporary problems and of the younger generation;

(b) to help acquire leisure skills, promote health and find increased meaning in life;

(c) to provide a grounding in the problems facing retired people and in ways of dealing with such problems, for the benefit of those who are on the point of leaving working life ;

(d) to enable those who have left working life to retain their physical and intellectual faculties and to continue to participate in community life and also to give them access to fields of knowledge or types of activity which have not been open to them during their working life.

IV. Methods, means, research and evaluation

Adult education methods should take account of:
incentives and obstacles to participation and learning specially affecting adults ;
the experience gained by adults in the exercise of their family, social and, occupational responsibilities; the family, social or occupational obligations borne by adults and the fatigue and impaired alertness which may result from them; the ability of adults to assume responsibility for their own learning; the cultural and pedagogical level of the teaching personnel available; the psychological characteristics of the learning process ; the existence and characteristics of cognitive interests ; use of leisure time.

25. Adult education activities should normally be planned and executed on the basis of identified needs, problems, wants and resources, as well as defined objectives. Their impact should be evaluated, and reinforced by whatever follow-up activities may be most appropriate to given conditions.

26. Particular emphasis should be placed on adult education activities intended for an entire social or geographical entity, mobilizing all its inherent energies with a view to the advancement of the group and social progress in a community setting.

27. In order to encourage the broadest possible participation, it may be appropriate in some situatio;1s to add, to locally based adult education, methods such as:

(a) remote teaching programmes such as correspondence courses and radio or television broadcasts, the intended recipients of such programmes being invited to form groups with a view to listening or working together (such groups should receive appropriate pedagogical support);

(b) programmes launched by mobile units ;

(c) self-teaching programmes;

(d) study circles;

(e) use of voluntary work by teachers, students and other community members.

The various services which public cultural institutions (libraries, museums, record libraries, video-cassette libraries) are able to put at the disposal of adult learners should be developed on a systematic basis, together with new types of institutions specializing in adult education.

28. Participation in an adult education programme should be a voluntary matter. The State and other bodies should strive to promote the desire of individuals and groups for education in the spirit of life-long education and learning.

29. Relations between the adult learner and the adult educator should be established on a basis of mutual respect and co-operation.

30. Participation in an adult education programme should be subject only to the ability to follow the course of training provided and not to any (upper) age limit or any condition concerning the possession of a diploma or qualification; any aptitude tests on the basis of which a selection might be made if necessary should be adapted to the various categories of candidates taking such tests.

31. It should be possible to acquire and accumulate learning, experiences and qualifications through intermittent participation. Rights and qualifications obtained in this way should be equivalent to those granted by the systems of formalized education or of such character as to allow for continued education within this.

32. The methods used in adult education should not appeal to a competitive spirit but should develop in the adult learners a shared sense of purpose and habits of participation, mutual help, collaboration and team work.

33. Adult education programmes for the improvement of technical or professional qualifications should, as far as possible, be organized during working time and, in the case of seasonal work, during the slack season. This should, as a general rule, be applied also to other forms of education, in particular literacy programmes and trade union education.

34. The premises necessary for the development of adult education activities should be provided; depending on the case, these may be premises used exclusively-for adult education, with or without residential accommodation, or multi-purpose or integrated facilities or premises generally used or capable of being used for other purposes-in particular, clubs, workshops, school, university and scientific establishments, social, cultural or socio-cultural centers or open air sites.

35. Member States should actively encourage co-operative research in all aspects of adult education and its objectives. Research programmes should have a practical basis. They should be carried out by universities, adult education bodies and research bodies, adopting an interdisciplinary approach. Measures should be taken with a view to disseminating the experience and the results of the research programmes to those concerned at the national and international levels.

36. Systematic evaluation of adult education activities is necessary to secure optimum results from the resources put into them. For evaluation to be effective it should be built into the programmes of adult education at all levels and stages.

V. The structures of adult education

37. Member States should endeavour to ensure the establishment and development of a network of bodies meeting the needs of adult education; this network should be sufficiently flexible to meet the various personal and social situations and their evolution.

38. Measures should be taken in order to:

(a) identify and anticipate educational needs capable of being satisfied through adult education programmes ;

(b) make full use of existing educational facilities and create such facilities as may be lacking to meet all defined objectives;

(c) make the necessary long-term investments for the development of adult education: in particular for the professional education of planners, administrators, those who train educators, organizational and training personnel, the preparation of educational strategies and methods suitable for adults, the provision of capital facilities, the production and provision of the necessary basic equipment such as visual aids, apparatus and technical media;

(d) encourage exchanges of experience and compile and disseminate statistical and other information on the strategies, structures, content, methods and results, both quantitative and qualitative, of adult education;

(e) abolish economic and social obstacles to participation in education, and to systematically bring the nature and form of adult education programmes to the attention of all potential beneficiaries, but especially to the most disadvantaged, by using such means as active canvassing by adult education institutions and voluntary organizations, to inform, counsel and encourage possible and often hesitant participants in adult education.

39. In order to achieve these objectives it will be necessary to mobilize organizations and institutions specifically concerned with adult education, and the full range, both public and private of schools, universities, cultural and scientific establishments, libraries and museums, and, in addition, other institutions not primarily concerned with adult education, such as:

(a) mass information bodies: the press, radio and television;

(b) voluntary associations and consortia;

(c) professional, trade union, family and co-operative organizations ;

(d) families ;

(e) industrial and commercial firms which may contribute to the training of their employees ;

(f) educators, technicians or qualified experts working on an individual basis;

(g) any persons or groups who are in a position to make a contribution by virtue of their education, training, experience or professional or social activities and are both willing and able to apply the principles set forth in the Preamble and the objectives and strategy outlined in the Recommendation;

(h) the adult learners themselves.

40. Member States should encourage schools, vocational education establish-ments, colleges and institutions of higher education to regard adult education programmes as an integral part of their own activities and to participate in action designed to promote the development of such programmes provided by other institutions, in particular by making available their own teaching staff, conducting research and training the necessary personnel.

VI. Training and status of persons engaged in adult education work

41. It should be recognized that adult education calls for special skills, knowledge, understanding and attitudes on the part of those who are involved in providing it, in whatever capacity and for any purpose. It is desirable therefore that they should be recruited with care according to their particular functions and receive initial and in-service training for them according to their needs and those of the work in which they are engaged.

42. Measures should be taken to ensure that the various specialists who have a useful contribution to make to the work of adult education take part in those activities, whatever their nature or purpose.

43. In addition to the employment of full-time professional workers, measures should be taken to enlist the support of anyone capable of making a contribution, regular or occasional, paid or voluntary, to adult education activities, of any kind. Voluntary involvement and participation in all aspects of organizing and teaching are of crucial importance, and people with all kinds of skills are able to contribute to them.

44. Training for adult education should, as far as practicable, include all those aspects of skill, knowledge, understanding and personal attitude which are relevant to the various functions undertaken, taking into account the general background against which adult education takes place. By integrating these aspects with each other, training should itself be a demonstration of sound adult education practice.

45. Conditions of work and remuneration for full-time staff in adult education should be comparable to those of workers in similar posts elsewhere, and those for paid part-time staff should be appropriately regulated, without detriment to their main occupation.

VII. Relations between adult education and youth education

46. The education of young people should progressively be oriented towards life-long education and learning, taking into account the experience gained in regard to adult education, with a view to preparing young people, whatever their social origins, to take part in adult education or to contribute to providing it.
To this end, measures should be taken with a view to:

(a) making access to all levels of education and training more widely available;

(b) removing the barriers between disciplines and also between types and levels of education;

(c) modifying school and training syllabuses with the aim of maintaining and stimulating intellectual curiosity, and also placing greater emphasis, alongside the acquisition of knowledge, on the development of self-teaching patterns of behavior, a critical outlook, a reflective attitude and creative abilities ;

(d) rendering school institutions of higher education and training establishments increasingly open to their economic and social environment and linking education and work more firmly together;

(e) informing young people at school and young people leaving full-time education or initial training of the opportunities offered by adult education;

(f) bringing together, where desirable, adults and adolescents in the same training programme;

(g) associating youth movements with adult education ventures.

47. In cases where a training course organized as part of adult education leads to the acquisition of a qualification in respect of which a diploma or certificate is awarded when the qualification is acquired through study in school or university, such training should be recognized by the award of a diploma or certificate having equal status. Adult education programmes which do not lead to the acquisition of a qualification similar to those in respect of which a diploma or certificate is awarded should, in appropriate cases, be recognized by an award.

48. Adult education programmes for youth need to be given the highest priority because in most parts, of the world the youth form an extremely large segment of society and their education is of the greatest importance for political, economic, social and cultural development of the society in which they live. The programmes of adult education for youth should take account not only of their learning needs, but should enable them to orient themselves for the society of the future.

VIII. The relations between adult education and work

49. Having regard to the close connection between guaranteeing the right to education and the right to work, and to the need to promote the participation of all, whether wage-earners or not, in adult education programmes, not only by reducing the constraints to which they are subject but also by providing them with the opportunity of using in their work the knowledge, qualifications or aptitudes which adult education programmes are designed to make available to them, and of finding in work a source of personal fulfillment and advancement, and a stimulus to creative activity in both work and social life, measures should be taken:

(a) to ensure that, in the formulation of the curriculum of adult education programmes and activities, the working experience of adults should be taken into account;

(b) to improve the organization and conditions of work and, in particular, to alleviate the arduous character of work and reduce and adjust working hours ;

(c) to promote the granting of educational leave during working time, without loss of remuneration or subject to the payment of compensatory remuneration and payments for the purpose of offsetting the cost of the education received and to use any other appropriate aid to facilitate education or updating during working life;

(d) to protect the employment of persons thus assisted;

(e) to offer comparable facilities to housewives and other homemakers and to non-wage-earners, particularly those of limited means.

50. Member States should encourage or facilitate the inclusion in collective labour agreements of clauses bearing on adult education, and in particular clauses stipulating:

(a) the nature of the material possibilities and financial benefits extended to employees, and in particular those employed in sectors where rapid technological change is taking place or those threatened with being laid off, with a view to their participation in adult education programmes;

(b) the manner in which technical or professional qualifications acquired through adult education are taken into account in determining the employment category and in establishing the level of remuneration.

51. Member States should also invite employers:

(a) to anticipate and publicize, by level and type of qualification, their skilled manpower requirements and the methods of recruitment which are envisaged to meet such needs ;

(b) to organize or develop a recruitment system such as will encourage their employees to seek to improve their occupational qualifications.

52. In connection with adult training programmes organized by employers for their staff, Member States should encourage them to ensure that:

(a) employees participate in the preparation of the programmes;

(b) those taking part in such programmes are chosen in consultation with the
workers' representative bodies;

(c) participants receive a certificate of training or paper qualification on completion of the programme enabling them to satisfy third parties that they have completed a given course or received a given qualification.

53. Measures should be taken with a view to promoting the participation of adults belonging to labouring, agricultural or craft communities in the implementation of adult education programmes intended for such communities; to this end they should be granted special facilities with the aim of enabling the workers to take those decisions which primarily concern them.

IX. Management, administration, co-ordination and financing of adult education

54. There should be set up, at all levels, international, regional, national and local:

(a) structures or procedures for consultation and co-ordination between public authorities which are competent in the field of adult education;

(b) structures or procedures for consultation, co-ordination and harmonization between the said public authorities, the representatives of adult learners and the entire range of bodies carrying out adult education programmes or activities designed to promote the development of such programmes.
It should be among the principal functions of these structures, for which resources should be made available, to identify the objectives, to study the obstacles encountered, to propose and, where appropriate, carry out 'the measures necessary for implementation of the adult education policy and to evaluate the progress made.

55. There should be set up at national level, and, where appropriate, at sub-national level, structures for joint action and co-operation between the public authorities and bodies responsible for adult education on the one hand and the public or private bodies responsible for radio and television on the other.

It should be among the principal functions of these structures to study, propose and, where appropriate, carry out measures designed to :

(a) ensure that the mass media make a substantial contribution to leisure-time occupations and to the education of the people;

(b) guarantee freedom of expression, through the mass media, for all opinions and trends in the field of adult education;

(c) promote the cultural or scientific value and the educational qualities of programmes as a whole;

(d) establish a two-way flow of exchanges between those responsible for or those professionally engaged in educational programmes broadcast by radio or television and the persons for whom the programmes are intended.

56. Member States should ensure that the public authorities, while assuming their own specific responsibilities for the development of adult education:

(a) encourage, by laying down an appropriate legal and financial framework, the creation and development of adult education associations and consortia on a voluntary and administratively independent basis;

(b) provide competent non-governmental bodies participating in adult education programmes, or in action designed to promote such programmes, with technical or financial resources enabling them to carry out their task;

(c) see that such non-governmental bodies enjoy the freedom of opinion and the technical and educational autonomy which are necessary in order to give effect to the principles set forth in paragraph 2 above;

(d)take appropriate measures to ensure the educational and technical efficiency and quality of programmes or action conducted by bodies in receipt of contributions from public funds.

57. The proportion of public funds, and particularly of public funds earmarked for education, allocated to adult education, should match the importance of such education for social, cultural and economic development, as recognized by each Member State within the framework of this Recommendation. The total allocation of funds to adult education should cover at least:

(a) provision of suitable facilities or adaptation of existing facilities;

(b) production of all kinds of learning materials ;

(c) remuneration and further training of educators ;

(d) research and information expenses;

(e) compensation for loss of earnings ;

(f) tuition, and, where necessary and if possible, accommodation and travel costs of trainees.

58. Arrangements should be made to ensure, on a regular basis, the necessary funds for adult education programmes and action designed to promote the development of such programmes; it should be recognized that the public authorities, including local authorities, credit organizations, provident societies and national insurance agencies where they exist, and employers should contribute to these funds to an extent commensurate with their respective responsibilities and resources.

59. The necessary measures should be taken to obtain optimum use of resources made available for adult education. All available resources, both material and human, should be mobilized to this end.

60. For the individual, lack of funds should not be an obstacle to participation in adult education programmes. Member States should ensure that financial assistance for study purposes is available for those who need it to undertake adult education. The participation of members of underprivileged social groups should, as a general rule, be free of charge.

X. International co-operation

61. Member States should strengthen their co-operation, whether on a bilateral or multilateral basis, with a view to promoting the development of adult education, the improvement of its content and methods, and efforts to find new educational strategies.
To this end, they should endeavour to incorporate specific clauses bearing on adult education in international agreements concerned with co-operation in the fields of education, science and culture, and to promote the development and strengthening of adult education work in UNESCO.

62. Member States should put their experience with regard to adult education at the disposal of other Member States by providing them with technical assistance and, in appropriate cases, with material or financial assistance.
They should systematically support adult education activities conducted in countries so wishing, through UNESCO and through other international organizations, including non-governmental organizations, with a view to social, cultural and economic development in the countries concerned.
Care should be taken to ensure that international co-operation does not take the form of a mere transfer of structures, curricula, methods and techniques which have originated elsewhere, but consists rather in promoting and stimulating development within the countries concerned, through the establishment of appropriate institutions and well coordinated structures adapted to the particular circumstances of those countries.

63. Measures should be taken at national, regional and international level:

(a) with a view to making regular exchanges of information and documentation on the strategies, structures, content, methods and results of adult
education and on relevant research;

(b) with a view to training educators capable of working away from their home country, particularly under bilateral or multilateral technical assistance programmes.

These exchanges should be made on a systematic basis, particularly between countries facing the same problems and so placed as to be capable of applying the same solutions; to this end, meetings should be organized, more especially on a regional or sub-regional basis, with a view to publicizing relevant experiments and studying to what extent they are reproducible; similarly, joint machinery should be set up in order to ensure a better return on the research which is undertaken.

Member States should foster agreements on the preparation and adoption of international standards in important fields, such as the teaching of foreign languages and basic studies, with a view to helping create a universally accepted unit-credit system.

64. Measures should be taken with a view to the optimum dissemination and utilization of audio-visual equipment and materials, as well as educational programmes and the material objects in which they are embodied. In particular, it would be appropriate:

(a) to adapt such dissemination and utilization to the various countries' social needs and conditions, bearing in mind their specific cultural characteristics and level of development;

(b) to remove, as far as possible, the obstacles to such dissemination and utilization resulting from the regulations governing commercial or intellectual property.

65. In order to facilitate international co-operation, Member States should apply to adult education the standards recommended at international level, in particular with regard to the presentation of statistical data.

66. Member States should support the action undertaken by UNESCO, as the United Nations Specialized Agency competent in this field, in its efforts to develop adult education, particularly in the fields of training, research and evaluation.

67. Member States should regard adult education as a matter of global and universal concern, and should deal with the practical consequences which arise there from, furthering the establishment of a new international order, to which UNESCO, as an expression of the world community in educational, scientific and cultural matters, is committed.


The foregoing is the authentic text of the Recommendation duly adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization during its nineteenth session, which was held in Nairobi and declared closed the thirtieth day of November 1976.

IN FAITH WHEREOF we have appended our signatures.

The President of the General Conference
The Director-General


Monitoring :

- Recommendation for which monitoring the Executive Board is responsible (more information)

- Review of the Recommendation :
  • Examination of the preliminary study of the technical and legal aspects relating to the desirability of revising the 1976 Recommendation by the Executive Board at its 191st session (spring 2013)



- Consultation 2011:


 

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