On the occasion of the International Literacy Day: ISESCO calls on Islamic world to place literacy programmes at the core of SDGs

Rabat: 01/09/2016

On the occasion of the International Literacy Day: ISESCO calls on Islamic world to place literacy programmes at the core of SDGs

A year after the launch by the international community of the post-2015 Agenda, particularly in its section devoted to Education by 2030, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Literacy Day, celebrated each year on September 8th, represents for ISESCO an opportunity to highlight its vision and outline of its role in promoting literacy to ensure comprehensive sustainable development in the Islamic world over the coming years.

Based on this approach to literacy as an essential component of the right to education and a mainstay of active involvement in sustainable development, ISESCO takes this opportunity to call on Member States to place their literacy programmes at the core of the new SDGs adopted by the international community, based on a good, inclusive and equitable approach favoring the right to life-long learning.

Against this backdrop, and in a bid to entrench these elements in the literacy systems of the Islamic world countries in a way that benefits all segments of society, including women, the displaced, refugees and out-of-school children, ISESCO underlines the need for Member States to give to such a cross-cutting approach a prominent place in their literacy policies, strategies and plans. This requires a synergetic involvement of ministries, governmental and non-governmental and partners from among international organizations concerned with sustainable development, the ultimate aim being to raise more funds to cope with the thorny issue of financing; a bottleneck for all literacy stakeholders.

For ISESCO, the success of this partnership hinges upon a policy of decentralization of literacy programmes, through the involvement of local governments in the design and implementation of these programmes. This will improve their quality and ensure that they meet the real needs of the target populations.

To this end, and in order to make literacy a solid foundation of development, ISESCO recommends that literacy and post-literacy training programmes and curricula be built around competency frameworks centered on the roles of adults and young people in their daily lives as producers and consumers of goods and services and as citizens of both their communities and the world. Accordingly, these curricula and programmmes must be given a pragmatic and functional touch to guarantee the socio-professional integration of beneficiaries through skills training aimed to facilitate their access to professional-life projects aligned to their environments.

Seeking to promote the new roles of literacy programmes in addressing contemporary societal issues (violence, extremism, environmental degradation, infectious diseases, etc.), ISESCO stresses the need to include in the post-literacy programmes training modules relating to the promotion of a culture of peace, non-violence, living-together in diversity, global citizenship and environmental education. This also includes promoting technical skills capable of ensuring the protection and sustainable use of ecosystems, and providing training in sanitation, hygiene, reproductive health and other forms of knowledge favoring a decent life.

In addition to prioritizing these issues so crucial for improving the relevance of literacy for sustainable development, ISESCO calls on Member States to work for ensuring a better outcome of literacy systems, through promoting an efficient culture of learning. It also encourages them to strengthen the capacity of educational actors and administrative and technical staff to develop appropriate teaching materials that meet the standards of life skills of beneficiaries, while exhorting them to promote adult education methods and techniques adapted to different target groups and to adopt modern evaluation systems and key performance indicators (KPI); the aim being to facilitate links with the formal education systems of vocational training.

Furthermore, the Organization urges Member States to work more on diversifying literacy approaches, especially using ICT in order to reach more beneficiaries, including those living in remote areas. This also involves integrating distance literacy systems and providing to the different populations involved training and skills related to sustainable development.

Equally important is improving the quality of literacy action and the creation of sectoral and inter-sector networks between Member States and with the relevant regional and international bodies and organizations for sharing successful experiences in literacy and non-formal education and diversifying the relevant funding resources. This should also involve strengthening national legislation related to the fight against all forms of illiteracy, including, ABC, legal, functional and computer or digital literacy, in order to contribute to the emergence of enlightened citizens who are respectful of the principles of human rights and justice, active players of development, and aware of the need for life-long training so as to ultimately facilitate their socio-professional in tegration.