Book Review: Guidelines on Open and Distance Learning for Youth and Adult Literacy
The publication highlights the progression of Open and Distance Learning (ODL) for youth and adult learners as an alternative to traditional education delivery, reinforcing the importance of change, and updating and reimagining existing practices taking cognisance of the context and needs of youth and adult learners, especially after the significant disruptions of COVID-19 on the education system. It further elaborates on the existing literature regarding adult literacy programmes and educational provision employing ODL, but asserts that “no specific guidelines for planning, designing, developing, implementing and evaluating youth and adult literacy programmes using ODL have been published to date” (p. 2). It is estimated that 773 million youth and adults, the majority being women, lack literacy skills, which are fundamental for growth. The recommendations contained within these guidelines are critical for institutions and literacy training providers, focus on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through socio-economic transformation and ensure the right to education. The aim of this book in the form of guidelines is to “offer an introduction to and guidance on the design of ODL programmes for youth and adults who lack basic literacy and numeracy skills” (p. 3), featuring issues that youth and adult learners face. The book is organised into, two key parts: Part 1 focuses on the four key steps for planning and implementing ODL programmes for youth and adult literacy, and Part 2 focuses on media and technologies for literacy.