ICAE World Assembly in the framework of the WSF

From 17 to 19 January, in the framework of the WSF, the ICAE will be holding its 7th World Assembly, "Adults' Right to Learn: Convergence, Solidarity and Action", with the participation of some 200 educators from around the world.

From 17 to 19 January 2007, the 7th World Assembly of theInternational Council of Adult Education (ICAE), "Adults' Right to Learn: Convergence, Solidarity and Action", is taking place at the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. This event is being held in the framework of the World Social Forum (WSF), which begins 20 January in Nairobi.

One of the priorities of the Assembly is to provide a collective space for forcefully emphasizing the right to life-long learning, and to underline the enormous value of adult education as an element that prepares and empowers citizens in their struggle against the poverty, inequality, discrimination and exclusion that affect much of the world’s population. The selection of these particular dates and venue for the assembly reflects the solidarity between the ICAE and other social movements working for change, while highlighting the strategic importance of adult education in the achievement of another possible world.

As an introductory event to the Assembly opening, the organizers held a welcoming ceremony and a number of tributes to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the First World Assembly of Adult Education, held in Tanzania in 1976.

The Assembly opening session was attended by 200 educators from around the world who are active members of the ICAE, as well as representatives of allied organizations and counterparts. The members of the Social Watch International Secretariat are participating in the Assembly as observers.

During the first day of sessions, Cecilia Alemany (coordinator of the Social Watch Networking Team) facilitated a workshop on “Using International Agreements to Promote Better Education Policies”, which was attended by educators from around the globe.

In her presentation, Alemany stressed the need to modify the international financial architecture and local resource management practices in order to ensure a decent standard of living for all the citizens of the world before 2282, the earliest date on which this goal could be achieved if the current situation remains unchanged.

In concluding she put forward a number of questions regarding the work of the ICAE:

* What role can the ICAE play in the current international context?
* What priorities can the ICAE adopt to influence the international development agenda?
* How can we use the international commitments on education at the national and local level?

The working sessions of 18 January will begin with a roundtable debate addressing the following points:

* Adult education: culture or structure? Or culture and structure?
* Where should the movement concentrate its focus: on imbedding learning in the work of other social movements, or on structured learning?
* What risks and possibilities lie in each strategy?

Scheduled afterwards is a presentation by Boaventura de Sousa Santos (Popular University of Social Movements) on Cultural Translation. That same day, Social Watch Coordinator Roberto Bissio will participate in a workshop on “Adult Education: Organization and Financing”, which will address education and the challenges for the organization and financing of development.

Social Watch activities in the World Social Forum.