June 2020 - Adult learning and education has a crucial role in supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and combined with the unprecedented global impact COVID-19 is having on labour markets and economies, and with estimates that as a result, the number of people living in poverty could increase by an additional 420- 580 million people, this would undo decades of progress against poverty and education (United Nations University)
“The novel coronavirus has completely changed our lives. Particularly, those who are marginalized are hardest hit. We need to work together in solidarity to respond, recover and create an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable society.” - Mihoko Kumamoto, Director, Division for Prosperity, UNITAR.
Recognizing these needs, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and microlearning platform EdApp have launched “Educate All,” a global learning initiative designed to democratize and increase access to free, high-quality adult education. The initiative has opened up the EdApp mobile learning platform, absolutely free of charge, for millions of people all over the world, providing free access to courses to advance their knowledge of sustainability, leadership, business skills and more.
Over the coming weeks, UNITAR will be expanding its courseware on the Educate All global learning library, including, among others, sharing its AGFUND-sponsored World of Microfinance course, which was rated 90% for satisfaction and usefulness by participants. This will join other courseware to support the SDGs, including gender equality, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
Educate All is also finding traction with communities looking to use education to address some of the major issues being currently faced around the world. In the UK, the “National Job Skills Training” initiative was created to help re-skill workforces after record levels of unemployment due to COVID-19, with members of the learning community volunteering their time to provide free training material aimed at re-skilling furloughed workers or helping them put together better CVs for their job search. In the USA, “Design for Humanity” has brought together more than 100 instructional design volunteers that are working to give back to the Black community during this transformative time by creating free, high-quality lessons on race relations, diversity, inclusion, and empathy, aiming to find practical and sustainable solutions for the complex issues being . Both initiatives will be using Educate All to develop learning that can assist those out of work and those desperate for change for a better and more sustainable future.
“We are striving for a world in which individuals, communities and organizations are equipped with the knowledge and skills to overcome global challenges,” said Nikhil Seth, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director, UNITAR.