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Poverty reduction and adult education: beyond basic education

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One of the Millennium Development Goals declared by the United Nations in 2000 was to reduce by half the population of people living in extreme poverty, by 2015. Adult education can and should contribute significantly to this development goal. Nevertheless it has hardly been explored so far in the national Poverty Reduction Strategies Papers. In as far as attention has been given to the contribution of adult education to the reduction of poverty, the trend has been to focus on literacy or basic education. Nevertheless, adult education is potentially much more than literacy or basic education. Successful contribution of adult education to poverty reduction programmes includes also agricultural extension, vocational education, community development and training for active citizenship. In this introduction of the special issue of the I nternational Journal of Lifelong Education, we will sketch the state of the art for each of these branches of adult education. Moreover, our central argument will be that developing countries do not only need a more extended system for adult education, but also a more flexible and more targeted system than the rather traditional practices in most developing countries.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Teachers College Columbia University, USA 2: University of Glasgow, UK

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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