Introductory Training on Family and Intergenerational Literacy and Learning (FILL) Programme Planning and Practice
From a broader perspective, learning within families and across different generations captures natural and informal learning practices that are rooted in all cultures and traditions around the world. It starts from one’s immediate family, extends beyond the walls of a classroom as well as beyond a textbook and can be used as a natural platform for learning about one’s community, culture, and identity. Such learning practice can also be used for formal learning on different themes and skills including literacy skills (for all family members), parenting skills, enhancing the wellbeing of families, early childhood development, community development and so forth. Through engaging in learning as families in various learning settings, children become better prepared for schools by developing their early literacy and other skills; while supporting their children or siblings, parents, caregivers and other family members improve their skills.
When considered in the context of families where adults have low or no formal education level, they hold low self-esteem and self-confidence towards themselves for supporting their children’s learning. Similarly, parents and caregivers with low educational level also have low literacy competency especially when their home language is different from the official language for education, business and employment. In this connection, if some educational support is designed and provided for learning literacy as a family activity, it can be greatly useful in a number of ways such as improved literacy skills of all family members, providing a literate environment for children for better academic achievement, enhanced confidence of adults as contributors towards their children’s learning and of children as supporting their elders in building their literacy skills. Other than literacy skills development, family learning can be used as an effective platform for learning other topics relevant for families and communities such as health and hygiene, nutrition, environment or simply reading as a joint fun activity.
For more than a decade, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has been promoting the family and intergenerational learning approach towards the education of children and adults and providing technical support to selected Member States in this domain. With technical support of UIL, many countries have piloted country-specific models of family and intergenerational literacy and learning programmes. Since early 2017, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has focused on developing resources and using these to build capacity on planning, designing and implementing FILL programmes of relevant stakeholders in multiple countries in Africa and Asia.
Partners from different parts of the world regularly request UIL for technical assistance in planning and designing an effective FILL programme in their country contexts. This training programme has been developed to respond to increased demand for supporting country and local level capacity building and to enhance the quality of education in these countries.