Welcome to the BAICE e-forum, again! Today’s discussions are facilitated by Dr. M. Ehsanur Rahman, Executive Director, Dhaka Ahsania Mission.
Ehsanur is currently the Executive Director of Dhaka Ahsania Mission and chairperson of the Coalition for Urban Poor, the network of CSOs working with urban poor in Bangladesh. He has been active in the education sector for about three decades. At the national and international level, he contributed significantly in capacity development of non-formal primary education, adult education, early child education and development personnel including planners, managers, curriculum developers and field level implementers. In development of education resource packages, he closely worked with various national and international teams. His significant contribution includes mapping Asia-Pacific regional scenario of adult literacy as a tool for empowerment of the poor. At present he is working relentlessly for promoting Community Learning Centre and inclusive technical vocational education as sustainable strategies to reach the poor and marginalized people.
Issues for discussion
Issue # 1: Roles of higher education institutions in professional development of literacy/adult learning educators and widening the vision of adult literacy/learning.
The scope of adult literacy and learning are often kept limited and programmes are designed with narrow vision. Women literacy/learning courses are, for example, confined to certain stereotype fields, having no scope for future journey or career ladder. There is absence of diverse and context specific literacy/adult learning programmes supported by wider goal of education suitable for the next decades.
Professional development of adult literacy/learning educators is a key to widen the vision of adult learning/ literacy education, as it can bring longer term insights in course planning. At present in most cases the scope for professional/career development of adult literacy/learning practitioners is either very limited or not available.
In many higher education institutions there are departments/programmes on adult literacy/learning offering academic courses and undertaking researches. On the contrast, we see very few of those courses are linked with practical adult literacy/learning programmes; the adult educators are seldom engaged in the studies.
The point of discussion is thus, how we can enhance the roles of higher education institutions for professional development of literacy/adult learning educators and widen the vision of adult literacy/learning.
Issue # 2: Providing convincing evidence to the financers on effectiveness of adult literacy and learning for increased investment
We often advocate for increased roles of donors and investors in promoting adult literacy/learning. Simultaneously we observe low key on the part of the adult educators to provide the investors convincing evidence on effectiveness of adult literacy.
There is difference in perceptions of the academics/researchers and the adult learning practitioners about effectiveness of literacy/adult learning. The objectives of research/study in adult learning/literacy education by these two groups often vary. Eventually the findings vary.
Over last few days in the e-Forum the issue of limited scope for dissemination of research findings/usage of literacy programme documents in the academic courses and vice versa came repeatedly.
I propose to bring the discussion again in the forefront to bring these two groups closer to bring synergy in this field to develop convincing evidences targeting the donors/financers for increased investment in adult learning/Literacy education.