Adult Education and Development Conference 2019: Achieving the SDGs

The Adult Education and Development Conference was held in Weimar on 7 and 8 May 2019 on the topic: "The power of adult learning and education – achieving the SDGs".

Guests from 30 partner countries, including government representatives, discussed the crucial role of adult education in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Starting from the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations, the approximately 150 participants discussed what significance adult education has for the educational goal (SDG 4) itself and beyond that how it can contribute to achieving key Sustainable Development Goals such as decent work, the reduction of inequalities, climate protection and the promotion of peace and justice.

Key messages of the conference

Participants agreed on a set of key messages that were presented and discussed in the course of the conference. They are divided into six thematic blocks, starting with the overall role of adult learning and education for Agenda 2030, followed by its contributions to the educational goal. Thereafter, interactions and interlinkages with four other SDGs are laid down to highlight the relevance of adult learning and education for reducing inequalities and conflict prevention, promoting climate action and assuring decent work and better employment opportunities for all. The key messages are part of the outcome document which summarises the main results of the conference.

Outcome document with key messages for download (PDF)

Conference information

Accompanying materials on the Sustainable Development Goals

Voices from politics

Government representatives from different countries shared their impressions during the conference.

“In Guatemala there are about 2.4 million adults who have not finished school or are illiterate. We need to make this problem visible and offer educational programmes that respond flexibly to the needs of these people. We have been working with DVV International for a year now to develop good models and methods and will soon open our own Vice-Ministry for Alternative Education. We look forward to learning more about the experiences of other countries in this area."

Oscar Hugo López Rivas, Minister of Education, Guatemala

“Adult Learning and Education facilitates the attainment of other development goals, be it in health, in environment, in gender, in all aspects of life - because impact has to be made at household and community level. And in households and communities, adults are making the decisions. They have to be informed, they have to be educated, and they have to be empowered to take responsible actions to improve their situation. That is the importance of Adult Learning and Education.”

Everest Tumwesigye, Commissioner for Community Development and Literacy, Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Uganda

“For the Republic of Moldova Lifelong Learning is a new concept. We introduced it in 2014 when a new educational code was published and put into practice. We are currently developing a national Lifelong Learning Policy. During the conference, we were able to learn from the good practices of Germany and other countries. One of the lessons learnt for us is the importance of non-formal adult education in addition to formal education. This could become one of our priorities.”

Angela Cutasevici, Secretary of State for Education, Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, Moldova

“It was very interesting for us to learn which implementation measures for SDG4 and adult learning and education are taken in other countries. The conference helped us to reflect our own situation compared to other countries and to identify where and how we can better contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” 

Sles Nos, Vice Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Cambodia

Anniversary: 50 years of DVV International

In the framework of the conference, on the evening of 7 May, DVV International celebrated its 50th anniversary with a festive ceremony. The ceremony in Weimar was attended by approximately 250 guests from Germany and abroad.

In his keynote speech, Dr Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, paid tribute to the Institute’s decades of successful commitment, and emphasised the considerable significance attaching to adult education for development: “Lifelong education forms the basis for reason, tolerance, equality, conflict prevention, peace at home and between peoples. The world needs nothing more than education.”

An overview of the work of DVV International over the past 50 years is provided by the anniversary publication (PDF).

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