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International Review of Education

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 279–288 | Cite as

Literacy and life skills education for vulnerable youth: What policy makers can do

  • Anna Caroline Bernhardt
  • Rika Yorozu
  • Carolyn Medel-Añonuevo
Article

Abstract

In countries with a high concentration of youth with low literacy levels, the policy and programming task related to education and training is particularly daunting. This note briefly presents policies and practices which have been put in place to provide vulnerable youth with literacy and life skills education. It is based on a multi-country research study undertaken by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD Canada; previously Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA), and on subsequent policy dialogue forums with policy makers, practitioners, researchers and youth representatives held in Africa, the Arab region and Asia. Built on this review of existing policies and their implementation, this note provides lessons for innovative practices and suggests six concrete ways to address the needs of vulnerable youth through literacy and life skills education.

Keywords

Youth Life skills Youth literacy Education policy Vulnerability Developing countries 

Résumé

Éducation des jeunes vulnérables aux compétences de base et pour la vie pratique : possibilités d’action pour les décideurs – Dans les pays à forte concentration de jeunes peu alphabétisés, la tâche de la formulation d’une politique et de la programmation en matière d’éducation et de formation est particulièrement décourageante. Cet article présente brièvement les politiques et pratiques mises en place dans le but de transmettre aux jeunes vulnérables les compétences de base et pour la vie pratique. Il se fonde sur une étude de recherche multipays entreprise par l’Institut de l’UNESCO pour l’apprentissage tout au long de la vie (UIL) en coopération avec le ministère canadien des Affaires étrangères, du Commerce et du Développement (MAECD Canada, anciennement Agence canadienne de développement international, ACDI). Il reflète également les forums de concertation sur les politiques tenus à la suite de cette étude avec des décideurs, praticiens, chercheurs et représentants de jeunes en Afrique, dans la région arabe et en Asie. À partir de ce recensement des politiques existantes et de leur application, les auteures communiquent les enseignements tirés des pratiques innovantes et proposent six formules concrètes pour répondre aux besoins des jeunes vulnérables à travers l’alphabétisation et l’acquisition de compétences pratiques.

Notes

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the important contributions of task force members who drafted the working papers on literacy and basic life skills for vulnerable youth in 2010–2011: Guy Bessette, Diarra Mahamadou Cheik, Angela Owusu-Boampong, Vimala Ramachandran and Raúl Valdés-Cotera. Special thanks to the Canadian Government for funding the initial research. We are also grateful to Lene Buchert and an anonymous reviewer who provided advice in the publication process of this note.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Caroline Bernhardt
    • 1
  • Rika Yorozu
    • 2
  • Carolyn Medel-Añonuevo
    • 2
  1. 1.UNICEF Nepal Country OfficeKathmanduNepal
  2. 2.UNESCO Institute for Lifelong LearningHamburgGermany

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