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The UNESCO Chair in Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation at Bahir Dar University

The UNESCO Chair in adult literacy and learning for social transformation was established in May 2016 at the University of East Anglia (UEA) with the invitation of UNESCO UK. After a successful first phase (2016 - 2020), the Chair (based in the UEA School of Education and Lifelong Learning and with the partner universities in 5 countries) has been renewed until April 2024.

This UNESCO Chair programme aims to develop understanding about how adult learning – particularly for women and young adults - can help address inequalities in the poorest communities of the world. Through investigating how or why adult literacy might facilitate or respond to processes of social transformation, including women's empowerment, the Chair programme sets out to strengthen the interaction between formal, non-formal and informal learning in research, policy and programmes.

The Adult Education and Community Development (AECD) Department, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, Bahir Dar University, is a pioneer in Ethiopia in training adult education professionals and community development practitioners. The department dates back to the establishment of Bahir Dar University. Bahir Dar University (BDU) was formed in 2000 as a result of the unification of two higher education institutions - Bahir Dar Polytechnic Institute and Bahir Dar Teachers College. The Bahir Dar Teachers College was established in 1972 as Bahir Dar Academy of Pedagogy by the tripartite agreement of the Government of Ethiopia, UNESCO, and UNDP. Educating community development workers and adult education organizers were among the objectives of the Academy of Pedagogy. 

More Information

For more information, check out the UEA UNESCO Bahir Dar University Chair page or the UEA page for more details. 

Latest update: 15.01.2024