Is it the return of the education buzzwords: holistic learning? Is going away from vocational learning to “learning as a human right” what the world needs at this moment?
The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has published a new report setting out a future-focused vision of education and demanding a major shift towards a culture of lifelong learning by 2050.
Embracing a culture of lifelong learning, UIL’s contribution to the UNESCO International Commission on the Futures of Education, argues that creating a global culture of lifelong learning will be key to addressing the challenges faced by humanity, from the climate crisis to technological and demographic change, not to mention those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the inequalities it has exacerbated.
It calls on the international community to recognize lifelong learning as a new human right.
UIL Director David Atchoarena explains: “We are emerging from a period characterized by an excessive focus on the vocational and skills dimensions of lifelong learning. Recognizing the complexity and multi-dimensional nature of the challenges faced by humanity calls for the restoration of a holistic vision of learning throughout life”.
Looking to the future, the report sets out 10 key messages, each critical for creating a culture of lifelong learning:
- Recognize the holistic character of lifelong learning
- Promote transdisciplinary research and intersectoral collaboration for lifelong learning
- Place vulnerable groups at the core of the lifelong learning agenda
- Establish lifelong learning as a common good
- Ensure greater and equitable access to learning technology
- Transform schools and universities into lifelong learning institutions
- Recognize and promote the collective dimension of learning
- Encourage and support local lifelong learning initiatives, including learning cities
- Reengineer and revitalize workplace learning
- Recognize lifelong learning as a human right