UST Graduate School 2nd Postgraduate e-Forum on Adult Education tackles role of family literacy in meeting SDGs

The Family Literacy Team of the University of Santo Tomas hosted its 2nd e-Forum on Adult Education on September 17, 2020, via Zoom.

The forum theme was “Families and sustainable communities: The role of family literacy in meeting the SDGs.” The e-forum which is now second in the series was in response to the need to break barriers between formal, non-formal and informal learning contexts, specifically to support the learning that takes place at home and in the community.The program opened with welcome messages from the International Promoter of the Justice and Peace and Integrity of Creation (JIPC) of the Dominican Sisters International (DSI), Rome, Italy Sr. Cecilia Espenilla, O.P., and from the UST Graduate School Assistant Dean Prof.

Camilla Vizconde, Ph.D. This was followed by the talk by Dr. Ulrike Hanemann titled ‘Promising experiences of intergenerational approaches to literacy teaching and learning at the international level.’ She emphasized the need to make learning relevant and useful for adult learners through integrated programs, such as embedding literacy and numeracy, or linking the program with social and health services. Hanemann also added that learning through community-oriented projects, recruiting facilitators from the learners’ community, and choosing topics in collaboration with local communities are promising strategies in the development of adult literacy.

Hanemann is an International Consultant and Former Senior Programme Specialist of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), Hamburg, Germany. The program included presentations from three speakers from different institutions who, through their research and experiences, have integrated adult literacy, family learning and community development into their projects. They discussed that the concept of family must go beyond biological determination. It must expand its definition to the social context of families, and look into the aspect of gender, environmental, ecological, and indigenous practices to address learning within sustainable communities.

The members of the panel were Prof. Sushan Acharya, Ph.D., Professor of Education from Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu, Nepal; Ms. May Cinco, National Coordinator of E-Net Philippines; and Christopher Millora, Chairperson of the British Association for Literacy in Development (BALID) and PhD Scholar to the UNESCO Chair in Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom. The closing remarks were delivered by UST Vice Rector for Research and Innovation Prof. Maribel G. Nonato, Ph.D

The online activities spearheaded by the team were funded by the Global Challenges Research Funds (GCRF) which was awarded to Asst. Prof. Gina Lontoc, Ph.D. and Prof. Vizconde, for the research project titled, Family literacy and sustainable development: how can we build on indigenous intergenerational learning? A total of 112 participants from the UK, Nepal, Vietnam, Myanmar, Italy, Germany, Taiwan, and the Philippines attended this online event. The University of Santo Tomas Graduate School, in partnership with the Asia-Pacific Dominican Promoters of Justice, Peace & Care of Creation, the UST Research Center for Social Sciences and Education (RCSSED) and the UNESCO Chair in Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation at the University of East Anglia, organized this event with the aim to provide educational opportunities to families and communities in vulnerable situations