Volume 39 (2016)

Millenium Development Goals and Education for All: Results and Prospects from the perspective of South-, East- and Southeast-Asian states

List of contents Volume 39


2015 is in more than one sense an important year for the international (adult) education. 2015 is the objective year of two processes that are – indirectly and directly – important for adult education.

On the one hand these are the Millenium Development Goals based on the Millenium Declaration of the United Nations: In 2000, at the summit conference of the United Nations in New York, representatives of 189 states determined following goals to be accomplished till 2015:

  • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV / AIDS, Malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Global partnership for development (United Nations).

On the other hand the initiative “Education for All” of the UNESCO is important. In 2000 the participants of the World Education Forum in Dakar adopted the document „The Dakar Framework for Action. Education for All. Meeting our Collective Committments“. This document as well determines goals tob e accomplished in 2015:

  • expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children;
  • ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality;
  • ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes;
  • achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults;
  • eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality;
  • improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills (UNESCO 2000, S. 8).

 Already before the achievement of the year 2015 the discussions about further processes have started. The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany published the document „Post 2015 Agenda for Sustainable Development“ in February 2014 (see The Federal Government 2014) as a contribution to the discussion regarding the phase after the Millenium Development Goals. In this document education and adult education take an important place as well. The section „Quality Education and Lifelong Learning for All“ includes following goals:

  • By 2030, ensure that every child receives at least a full cycle of basic education (pre-primary, primary and lower secondary) with recognized and measurable learning outcomes
  • Increase adult literacy to X%
  • By 2020, include sustainable development concepts, health and nutrition related issues, human rights including gender equality at all levels into education and training curricula (The Federal Government 2014, S. 4).

The International Yearbook of Adult Education takes up these developments to strike a balance of the two significant international initiatives during the last 15 years. Concretely the contributions will address the effects in politics and practice of adult education on national level. At the same time they will provide perspectives on further developments. The states selected are states belonging to the region of South-, East- and Southeast-Asia that is characterized by a spectrum of developing countries combined with industrial countries.


The Federal Government (2014): Post-2015 Agenda for Sustanable Development. Key Positions of the German Government.
Europa___International/post_2015_agenda_german_key_points_140219_bf.pdf,  last access April 21, 2015

UNESCO (2000): The Dakar Framework for Action. Education for All: Meeting our Collective Commitments.
121147e.pdf, last access April 21, 2015

United Nations: Millenium Development Goals.
http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/bkgd.shtml, last access April 21, 2015



Shalini Singh, Bani Bora, Regina Egetenmeyer

Adult Education Policies in India and International Influences

Adult education policies in India determine the course of action taken by the Indian government to deal primarily with the country’s large non-literate and semi-literate population, move towards lifelong learning, and serve the needs of the global labour market with a skilled population to ensure India’s effective and smooth transition to a knowledge economy. Just as the UNESCO and the European Union seem to be moving towards a balance between neo-liberal and humanistic policy lines through their respective adult education and lifelong learning policies, Indian policies seem to balance their traditional humanistic bent with new neo-liberal, labour market-oriented skill development policies. This paper analyses the international influences on Indian adult education policies and tries to highlight the changes evident in them after the adoption of the Education for All goals and the Millennium Development Goals at the international level along with the reasons for these changes. It differentiates the two threads of literacy and skill development in Indian adult education policies. The paper concludes that the convergence of economies, especially due to globalization and interdependence in the global political economy, does not leave much scope for differential policy lines for actors that tend to carve a niche for themselves in the emerging and transforming world order. India, as a result, is moving towards a balance between humanistic and neo-liberal policy lines with several interdependencies with UNESCO and EU policies. Regarding the European discourse on educational policies, several similarities to educational policy contexts in European states can be identified.


Uwe Gartenschläger

Von New York nach Nong – Die Auswirkung von ‘Millennium Development Goals’ und ‘Education for All’ auf die non-formale Bildung in Laos

As one of the least developed countries in Southeast Asia Laos depends in many aspects on global and regional processes and frameworks. In the context of well established development cooperation mechanisms, the big multi- and bilateral donors play side by side with government agencies an important role in designing and implementing strategies, especially in the education sector. The text gives an inside on how influential the global frameworks of Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals were in shaping Laos’ non-formal education policy. While there is evidence on the level of policy development and representation, it is much more challenging to gain this evidence on the implementation level. Additionally, an analysis has to take into account the substantial influence of other regional and global frameworks and processes like the growing ASEAN integration, China’s role or the official objective of Lao government to leave the status of a least developed country by 2020. The text closes with an outlook on the impact of the new sustainable development goals with their very elaborated and brought agenda on a small country like Laos.


Jifa Xiang, Harm Kuper, Lingyun Dai

The Development of Adult Education during China’s Reform Phases

As the most populous country in the world, China has developed a characteristic adult education system during the reform era after the cultural revolution. Over the last three decades, literacy education has been carried out continuously, increasing the national average educational level. Rural adult education has been established, forming a “county – township – village” three-level system. On-the-job training and continuing education met adult workers’ skills-enhancing and knowledge-updating demands; television and radio broadcasting universities (and later the Open university) as well as  the self-study examination system offered extensive learning opportunities; community education focusing on leisure, lifestyle, and community integration, became an important and widespread institution. Their strategic programs are made based on China’s national conditions. They comply with the trend of reforms and opening, for instance adult education stresses the right for equal education. Degree and non-degree education are integrated. The educational administration is decentralized and managed at the local level, while  the nongovernmental sector is also encouraged to offer adult education. All these practices of adult education demonstrate China’s commitment to the goals of the UNESCO initiative Education for All (UNESCO 2000, 70): reduction of adult illiteracy, the provision of access to basic and continuing education for all adults, and the decentralization of educational services.


Ming-Lieh Wu & Yin-Tzu, Lin

The Development Context and Visions of Lifelong Learning in Taiwan

In Taiwan, lifelong learning is not only considered a concept, but also is understood as real actions that enrich the life of the local population and bring a change of attitude into focus. Since 1990, international organizations and countries are promoting lifelong learning conceptions and the development of a learning society. Taiwan has also committed to the development of a lifelong learning society by developing according policy.

The article tries to explore the international development of lifelong learning in Taiwan and discusses three current major work streams of lifelong learning at national level. By the approach of a deficiency analysis it focuses the major problems and challenges of this development, which can be summarized as:

  1. A comprehensive development of all types of learning organization.
  2. Activating learning cities.
  3. Promoting relevant institutions to effectively forwarding the approaches of lifelong learning.
  4. Enhancing Quality and Profession in people and lifelong learning industry.
  5. Fostering lifelong learners and developing capabilities of people in lifelong learning.
  6. Proposing the future vision of Taiwan lifelong learning.


Heribert Hinzen

Bildungssystem und Lebenslanges Lernen in der Republik Korea – Entwicklungen in den Jahren globaler Agenden von ‚Millennium Development Goals’ und ‚Education for All’

Since the Korean War in 1953, the Republic of Korea has achieved surprising developments in the last 60 years in political, economical, technological and social concerns. This also applies to the education system becoming a system of lifelong learning. These developments are documented and analyzed concerning political and institutional changes in the formal and non-formal education sector. In the next step the article undertakes a comparison by examining in how far the developments are connected to global development goals and trends induced by the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All since 2000. Besides presenting data applying to the particular education sectors the article focuses on the question, in how far positions, experience and influences from Korea have taken an effect on the Post-2015-Debate with its conclusion of adopting the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.


John Field, Klaus Künzel & Michael Schemmann

International Comparative Adult Education Research. Reflections on
theory, methodology and future developments

On the background of the 200th anniversary of the publication of a standardized questionnaire of 266 questions partly published in the ‘Journal d’éducation’ by Jullien de Paris the paper focuses on the development, current state-of-the-art and future development of international comparative adult education. The paper also proposes a model to explain the development of comparative adult education research.

As such Jullien de Paris is seen as an ancestor of this research field. The period after World War I, with the establishment of the ‘World Association for Adult Education (WAAE)’ and the ‘Workers Educational Association (WEA)’ is seen as the pre-foundation period of international comparative adult education research. The period after World War II, comprising UNESCO’s World Conferences of Adult education in 1949 and in 1960 as well as the publication of the Exeter Papers as a key document is understood as the Foundation era.

The period after the Exeter papers is understood as the phase of institutionalisation, bearing a tendency to expansion considering the development of the last 10 to 15 years.

In its final chapter the paper discusses the prospects and future perspectives of comparative adult education.


Nico Sturm & Helmar Hanak

Recognition of Prior Learning in a European Comparison – Adaptation Potential for German Institutions of Higher Education

 Being one of the key issues of the Bologna Process, Lifelong Learning aims at horizontal and vertical permeability of interdependent education systems in order to be accessible to many groups of people. Hence, the acknowledgement and recognition of prior learning has become increasingly more important. Throughout the past ten years numerous initiatives have developed and tested a variety of systems to acknowledge and recognize prior learning in Germany. Despite this no permanent solution has found its way into German institutions of higher education.

The authors identify as well as systemize common transnational procedures, specifically admissions programs of study and the reduction of a required workload. The intent of the authors is to contribute to a sustainable implementation of recognition procedures at procedural level. They approach systematics in Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg. The retrieval of information by applicants, being one procedural step, will be utilized as an example to infer potentials of adaptation for German institutions of higher education.