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Workshop on Community learning Centres: Africa-Asia Exchange

Workshop on Community learning Centres: Africa-Asia Exchange

UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) in collaboration with UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok) and crucial expertise from DVV International is collaboratively organizing an Africa-Asia exchange to highlight and recognize best practice examples and key steps in piloting and developing Community Learning Centres (CLCs).


The important role played by lifelong learning in ensuring sustainable development is reflected in the fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4), ‘quality education’, adopted at the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, which calls on countries to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. Youth and adult learning and education (ALE) are a key component of lifelong learning and thus essential for the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Currently, Community Learning Centres (CLCs) are increasingly becoming local institutions for lifelong learning and a lever for achieving both the targets of the Education 2030 Framework for Action (SDG 4) in particular and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at large.

The UNESCO Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education (RALE) stipulates, that countries should develop governing structures and make resources available with a view to enhancing the status and quality of youth and ALE. These structures should be supported by policies and strategies that integrate youth and ALE into national education and development plans from a holistic, cross-sectoral, lifelong and life-wide learning perspective. The Recommendation further specifies, that Youth and ALE promote personal and professional development, particularly with regard to community development, thereby ‘supporting more active engagement by equipping people with the necessary capabilities to exercise and realize their rights and take control of their destinies’ (UNESCO, 2015, Recommendation on Adult Learning and Education).

Closely aligned with the SDGs and RALE, Africa’s objectives and aspirations outlined in the African Union’s 2063 agenda, aim to ensure a “world-class infrastructure for learning…that underpins the transformation of the continent”. In the same vein, the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA), calls on member states to “build, rehabilitate, preserve education infrastructure and develop policies that ensure a permanent, healthy and conducive learning environment in all sub-sectors and for all, so as to expand access to quality education”. 

However, to date Africa has around 153 million young people and adults (aged 15 and over) who are lacking basic reading and writing skills- of which two-thirds are women-, an average rural population of more than 50% (up to 85% in some countries) and faces persisting social and economic inequalities. 

CLCs can significantly contribute to addressing these challenges by providing access to quality learning opportunities that proactively respond to the expressed needs of local communities in urban and rural settings. Additionally, as over 60% of the population in the African region is under 35, CLCs can complement the national education and training system by providing flexible and integrated learning across sectors (e.g. agriculture, health and TVET). There are evidence and good practices, particularly collected from Asian countries, that CLCs can furthermore encourage good governance, promote community engagement, active citizenship and climate action thereby contributing to the achievement of the SDG agendas, through:

•    Promoting inclusive learning environments
•    Providing relevant lifelong learning opportunities for skills development
•    Advancing local community development for sustainable development, agriculture and food security, peacebuilding and preservation of indigenous knowledge/local cultures


•    Collect CLC best practice examples to be shared
•    Identify priorities and challenges for developing, implementing and upscaling CLCs
•    Outline key steps and tools for institutionalizing CLCs as national infrastructure for lifelong learning in local communities
•    Exchange on best practices, innovations and lessons learned on CLCs 
•    Establish South-South exchange and learning mechanisms in support of CLCs 

The outputs of the work shop will contribute to the development of the CLC guidelines in African contexts.

Working language: 

9 December 2022, 15:00 hrs - 16:40 hrs (Bangkok time/GMT+7)

Modality of participation:

Participation is by invitation only. Please send your request to: 

Ms Angela Owusu-Boampong 
Programme Specialist  
UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL)  
Email: a.owusu-boampong(at)unesco.org 

Ms Sowirin Chuanprapun 
Project Officer – Literacy and Lifelong Learning 
UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok)
Email: s.chuanprapun(at)unesco.org

Bangkok Time

Tentative Agenda


Welcome remarks

Session 1



Introduction and thematic input: CLCs as intersectoral learning infrastructure

  • CLCs in Africa, local context and example
  • CLCs in Asia and Pacific, local context and example



Session 2




Parallel Breakout Session A: Laying foundations for CLCs

Parallel Breakout Session B: Implementation and management of CLCs

Parallel Breakout Session C: Advocacy and transversal themes for CLCs

Session 3


Reporting back


Conclusion and Way Forward