Campaigning for Youth and Adult Learning

April 27th, 2009

April 22 was the day of “The Big Read,” the global action coordinated by GCE, the Global Campaign for Education. E-Net Philippines organized the national event in Quezon City, while other E-Net members and partners took care of activities in other areas. Thea Soriano, E-Net national coordinator, sent the following report:

Maraming salamat sa lahat ng inyong suporta sa Global Action Week 2009!  

Compared to last year, we were able to mobilize more advocates this year. More than 6,000 participated (last year we were 4,500) in several activities that campaigned for Youth and Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning. 

Many thanks to the following:

1. TEACHERS Inc and Teachers’ Dignity Coalition for spearheading the Big Read in Schools – Roxas High School, Sta Quiteria Elementary School, Baesa National High School, Digos City National High School, Tatalon Elementary School, Little Angels of St. Therese School (Dr. San Juan)

2. KUMPAS, Unang Hakbang, Home Along the Riles and World Vision Inc. for the community workshops held in Pasig City, Mandaluyong and Quezon City in the run up to the Big Read culminating activity.

3. Department of Education, in particular the EFA Secretariat, Literacy Coordinating Council, and the Bureau of Alternative Learning System, for co-organizing the Forum on Youth and Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning on April 21 at the Bulwagan ng Karunungan.

4. Partners In Education for Community Empowerment (PIECE) for arguing for the case of youth and adults in armed conflict area in a simlutaneous Big Read in Tulunan, North Cotabato where LGUs, OSY, PTCAs, teachers (TDC) and other stakeholders gathered in a colorful and meaningful program.

5. People’s Initiative for Learning and Community Development (PILCD), SPPI of Samar, University of Cebu (CESDEV), Coalition for Better Education and ABK 2 with CCF and ESKAN for holding simultaneous Big Read on the 22nd in Baguio City, Samar, Cebu City and Toboso, Negros Occidental respectively.

6. Thank you to all legislators who took the time to lend their support to the campaign — Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Com. Sec Gigi Ricafort (representing Rep. Del De Guzman), Atty. Butch Abad (representing Senator Mar Roxas).

We are still tallying reports from members and partners, so the number may still increase. We are currently sending the scanned attendance sheets and pictures to GCE.

Maraming salamat rin sa volunteers mula sa E-Net Youth campaigners for EFA (PINASAMA Youth, PIGLAS Youth, Metro West Network, Unang Hakbang, KUMPAS Youth, KASECA Youth), KPACIO at sa Kabataan Kontra Kahirapan (KKK) and ASPBAE.
Tuluy-tuloy ang kampanya para sa edukasyon ng kabataan at adults. Asahan namin ang inyong muling suporta sa gagawing school opening activity (Bakit wala kami sa iskul?) at sa Alternative Budget for Education.

I was asked to speak at the forum organized by E-Net with Dep-Ed. The question they wanted me to answer was “What does civil society expect from Confintea VI?” I gave a brief background of Confintea, and scanned what happened after Confintea V in Hamburg, 1997.

Realistically, adult education advocates have modest expectations about a global conference like Confintea. Most of our work has to be done nationally and locally. Hopefully, in the context of so many causes competing for scarce global attention and resources, Confintea will call increased attention to adult learning and education. Hopefully, we can re-energize one another through such global encounters, and develop a momentum for our work at home.

We can definitely learn from the campaign launched around EFA II in Dakar. Compared to EFA I in Jomtien, there is a more active and effective civil society campaign, represented by GCE. Even if the struggle continues to be uphill, the civil society campaign around EFA 2015 has made progress partly because it has definite goals for its advocacy work toward individual governments and intergovernmental bodies. 

Applying lessons learned from EFA I, GCE pushed successfully for EFA II to have new money available for EFA, in the form of the Fast Track Initiative or FTI. It also succeeded in having a distinct follow-up mechanism set up – the High Level Group, though this has not been consistently high level. The annual EFA report is another useful tool for continuing advocacy.

It would be nice if Confintea VI results in something similar. But I don’t think we can set up another global coalition like GCE to pursue the campaign for adult learning and education. What we could do is to strengthen the section of GCE that focuses on Goal 3 and Goal 4 of EFA, which are about reducing adult literacy by half, and providing appropriate learning opportunities for youth and adults. These are relatively neglected goals, and need extra effort and emphasis.

The proposal to have an adult learners’ charter and a global network of adult learners can mobilize additional energies for our campaign. I have asked E-Net and other education advocacy groups in the Philippines to devote special effort to organizing parents both for their own learning needs, and to help their children.

The day after the conference at DepEd, I traveled with the ELF staff to the gathering of electric cooperatives and the National Electrification Administration, NEA. That introduced them to another arena for adult learning and education – on renewable energy, climate change, and consumer advocacy. We hope to mobilize these new energies for the campaign for adult learning and education in the Philippines.

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One Response to “Campaigning for Youth and Adult Learning”

  1. Daniel Noora says:

    Dear sir:
    May I have the honor to take this opportunity.

    I am interested to your program but how? can I avail and ….. I hope to hear from you.. I want to learn as well to share it to other people and community as well.

    thank you and more power

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