The contribution of adult education to reducing worldwide poverty is unquestionably one of the greatest challenges and tasks which we must all constantly face. Much of our daily professional lives is of course taken up with matters such as training, organization and administration, research and evaluation, while we also discuss our role in lifelong learning and devote ourselves to literacy as part of Education for All. But since we have set ourselves the goal of development- oriented adult education we need more than ever to concern ourselves with the growing poverty in this age of globalization.
We are already doing this through the work of the Institute with our partners, through our projects and, not for the first time, through this journal. Many articles have sought answers. The first supplement in 1990, “Grassroots approaches to combat poverty through adult education”, was devoted in its entirety to this theme. The recently published Volume 43 in our series International Perspectives in Adult Education is entitled “Adult Education and Combating Poverty. Experiences from Development Projects”. Here we reprint two contributions from Latin America, and the complete volume can be ordered from the Editorial Office. In June 2004, a major conference on Adult Education and Poverty took place in Gaborone, arranged by the University of Botswana and funded jointly by the World Bank and the IIZ/DVV. Using some of the key papers presented there, we plan to take the matter further on the ground, to press the issue politically and, if possible, to develop theoretical principles.
Literacy also remains one of our chief concerns, especially because it is one of the most significant aspects of adult education in many of the poorest countries. The countries reported on here, Bangladesh and Tunisia, have previously received little coverage in the journal.
Prof. Joachim Knoll is a member of the Advisory Board for International Affairs of the German Adult Education Association, which also supports the work of the Institute. We are delighted to announce that the Free University of Berlin has awarded him an honorary doctorate, and we reprint here his speech of acceptance.
Global learning in industrialized countries is a crucial development task. In the last 25 years this Institute has accumulated extensive experience in this field, which is assessed in a report and thus made available to other interested parties.
In two earlier issues we have already published an index to previous articles. We have now produced a complete list, providing easy access to particular topics and authors. This index will be regularly updated as a database and placed on the Internet.
Prof.(H) Dr Heribert Hinzen