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Community Learning Centres for Lifelong Learning

©UNESCO/Din Muhammad Shibly

26.09.2012

A regional conference on ‘Lifelong Learning for All through Community Learning Centres’ (CLC) in Bangkok, 26-28 September, explores the potentials of community-based education and skills development to improve disadvantaged people’s quality of life.

“In a period of globalization and rapid change, skill requirements for jobs and opportunities for learning are changing. Meeting basic needs is no longer enough to adequately serve the community. It is essential to adapt to the demands of lifelong learning,” said Gwang-Jo Kim, Director UNESCO Bangkok at the conference opening. 

During three days, CLC practitioners from national governments, NGOs, research institutes and private businesses from all over Asia-Pacific are discussing how to raise the efficiency of literacy programmes, improve learning outcomes, advocate better for literacy and lifelong learning, use ICTs to help delivering education, and on which contents to provide to learners at CLCs.

“Thailand’s success with the [more than 8,000] CLCs is now recognized throughout the Asia-Pacific. Every year, a number of countries visit our country to observe what we do at the CLCs and to learn about the Non-Formal Education system in general,” said Ms. Churairat Sangboonnum, Deputy Permanent Secretary and Secretary-General of the Thai National Commission for UNESCO.

UNESCO has been advocating for community-based literacy and lifelong learning through CLCs in the Asia-Pacific since 1998 with strong financial support of the Japanese government. 

“There are more than 15,000 Community Learning Centres in Japan, which offer studying space, library, children playground, movie theatre, a place to hold local festivals or a multipurpose centre for locals to gather and have activities together. When we had the big tsunami and earthquake disasters in Tohoku area in 2011, the CLCs accomplished this important role”, said Mr. Koji Tawara, first Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Thailand at the conference.

In the region, CLCs exist in as much as 24 countries and the number of CLCs and Non-Formal Education/Literacy Centres is estimated at more than 170,000. Community Learning Centres provide community-based non-formal and informal education services and professional skills training, community development work, information services, and networking and coordination activities. 

More information at: www.unescobkk.org/education/literacy-and-lifelong-learning/community-learning-centres-clcs/ 

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