[AAACE-NLA] ProLiteracy Worldwide Advocacy for Adult Literacy
tsticht at znet.com
Fri Nov 12 21:40:07 EST 2004
Research Note 12 November 2004
ProLiteracy Worldwide State of Adult Literacy and Advocacy for 2004
International Consultant in Adult Literacy
On October 2004 ProLiteracy Worldwide, "the worlds largest
community-based adult literacy organization" released a 14 page, double
space report about adult literacy in the world and in the United States
[Wedgeworth, Robert (2004, September). State of Adult Literacy 2004.
Syracuse, NY- online at www.proliteracy.org]. In making its case about the
condition of adult literacy in the world in 2004 the report states:
"ProLiteracy Worldwide is deeply committed to helping adults and families
throughout the world improve their literacy skills and to supporting the
U.N.s Literacy Decade. This State of Adult Literacy report focuses on two
literacy issues currently affecting the international and the U.S.
communities: womens literacy and immigration. The growing interdependence
of the worlds nations makes it vital that we understand the local
implications of global activities."
The report goes on to discuss issues related to womens literacy and notes
that UNESCOs work on Literacy For All calls attention to the fact that
investing in womens literacy development not only increase the lives of
the women but also that "Educating women also ensures that their children
"will be healthier, better nourished and have a greater chance of going to
school and doing well there."
Regarding issues related to immigration the report notes that "The number of
immigrants in the European Union is up 75% since 1980." During this same
period, the number of foreign-born in the United States rose by 145%, from
14 million to 35 million." The report states that "The demand for
English-as-a-second-language (ESL) services is so high that many
ProLiteracy Worldwide programs have ESL waiting lists." and also "1) the
U.S. has the fifth highest share of foreign-born in its adult population;
2) one-third of the foreign-born adults in the U.S. did not complete high
school; and 3) the majority of foreign-born came from non-English-speaking
countries and have limited English speaking skills."
In the final paragraphs of the report, in addition to calling for the
United States to adopt the elements of commitment to adult literacy in
UNESCOs Education For All strategy, the report concludes by stating that
"ProLiteracy also calls upon Congress to authorize programs for adult
education through the development of an Omnibus Literacy Bill and through
reauthorization of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act under the
Workforce Investment Act."
However, the report does not provide information about an Omnibus Literacy
Bill so it is not clear just what that might include. The National
Coalition for Literacy at one time developed an Omnibus Literacy Bill
(OLB) proposal which can be found online at
Advocates for adult literacy education may wish to read and comment on the
OLB and other ideas being advocated by ProLiteracy Worldwide. When the
worlds largest community-based adult literacy organization makes its
recommendations for public policy in the United States known, the field of
adult literacy education should be aware of this and respond with
questions for and/or support for the Proliteracy Worldwide efforts and
offer any additional thoughts for advancing the field that they think
might be useful.
Thomas G. Sticht
Internatiional Consultant in Adult Education
2062 Valley View Blvd.
El Cajon, CA 92019-2059
Tel/fax: (619) 444-9133
Email: tsticht at aznet.net
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