Declaration of the members of the Latin American Group of Specialists in Literacy and Written Culture (GLEACE)
We, the undersigned members of the Latin American Group of Specialists in Literacy and Written Culture (GLEACE), wish to express that:
1. We valorise the renewed efforts which have been made in Latin America and the Caribbean in the field of adult education.
2. We consider specially propitious the setting and the moment created by the 6th International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI, Belem, Brazil, 1st - 4th December 2009) to be held for the first time in the southern hemisphere and specifically in this region.
3. We feel ourselves moved by the call to advance "from literacy to lifelong learning" set out during CONFINTEA V (Hamburg, 1997) and repeated in the case of this region in the preparatory regional conference, held in Mexico in September 2008.
4. At the same time, and in this framework, we observe with preoccupation:
(a) The predominant emphasis which has been given to literacy, to the point of once again reducing adult education to literacy. In addition, the traditional dichotomies between illiterate and literate and between pure illiterates and functional illiterates, widely questioned by abundant research as well as by the very development and complexity of the written culture in the world, persist.
(b) Literacy activities which are implemented in a vacuum, both at national and regional levels, ignoring the rich and lengthy history of adult literacy for which Latin America and the Caribbean are well know internationally.
(c) The persistence of a simplistic and facile conception of literacy seen as a process which can be executed in a short period of time, in precarious conditions, by educators with little or no training, using just one method, with scarce reading and writing materials, a feeble use of modern technologies and without taking into account the linguistic and cultural diversity of the students. Precisely because they are illiterate people or with low levels of schooling these poor sectors which have for years been denied the right to education, deserve contemporary educational provision of the highest quality.
(d) The absence of learner assessment, often considering as literate those people enrolled in programmes or who declare themselves as literate, without verifying what they have really learned and without creating conditions in which they can use what they have learned and continue learning. This way of proceeding not only ignores the centrality which should be attributed to learning in the whole educational process but also the very experience of rigorous evaluations of mass literacy campaigns and programmes carried out in the same region in the past and in the present, by which as a result instead of advancing, in many cases we witness regression.
(e) The political use of numbers and literacy rates, including the declaration of ‘territories free of illiteracy´ or ‘literate countries´ on the basis of a purely statistical estimate. Instead of facing up to the problematic with the integrity which this deserves, the illusion is created of having solved illiteracy in a record time. This contributes, on the other hand, to the contrary effect which is the greater marginalization of those people and groups who are declared as literate when they are not.
(f) The continued separation of illiteracy from its structural conditions of reproduction, principally poverty and the denial of the right to a public free quality education for the whole population, without which it is unthinkable to solve the question of literacy in a sustainable fashion.
5. In this context, we make a renewed call to the international organisms to coordinate inter-agency actions and to carry out their technical role, assuming their responsibility in the face of the indispensable seriousness, transparency and credibility of those government actions which they support. It is not an exaggeration to record that organisms like UNESCO and others dedicated to the tasks of international cooperation, were created to offer support to governments for the benefit of their peoples.
6. Finally, we request that CONFINTEA VI deals in a critical and reflexive manner with the question of illiteracy and the literacy of young people and adults in this region and in the whole world, encouraging government initiatives but within the framework of a sincere and not demagogic dialogue, open to the participation of social organisations and to the diverse national and international actors who intervene in this field.
Marta Acevedo (Mexico). Editor of books and material in original languages.
Miriam Camilo Recio (Dominican Republic). Coordinator of the Master´s Course in Adult and Youth Education at the Santo Domingo Technological Institute (INTEC), member of the Latin American Council of Adult Education (CEAAL) Working Group on Literacy and Adult Education), ex-General Director of Adult Education, State Secretariat of Education.
Lola Cendales, G. (Colombia). Educator and researcher of Dimensión Educativa, Bogotá.
Susana Fiorito (Argentina). President of the Pedro Milesi Foundation and of the Bella Vista Popular Library (Córdoba). Coordinator of a Learning Community project whose central concern is reading and writing.
Gregório Hernández Zamora (Mexico). Doctor in Language and Written Culture from Berkeley University - USA, researcher and independent consultant.
Maria Isabel Infante R. (Chile). National Coordinator of Adult Education, Ministry of Education.
Timothy Ireland (Brazil). Lecturer on the Post-Graduate Programme in Education at the Federal University of Paraíba, João Pessoa.
Maria Luisa Jáuregui (El Salvador). Ex-Regional Specialist in Adult and Youth Education at the UNESCO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC), in Santiago de Chile.
Maria Eugenia Letelier (Chile). Coordinator of the National System of Evaluation of Learning and Certification of Studies, Chilecalifica Programme.
Luis Oscar Londoño Z. (Colombia). Independent researcher in Education. Specialist in Adult Education.
Vera Masagão Ribeiro (Brazil). Researcher and coordinator of programmes for the ONG Ação Educativa, São Paulo.
Ana María Méndez Puga (Mexico). Lecturer-researcher in the School of Psychology at the Michoacán University in San Nicolás de Hildago, Morelia, Michoacán.
José Rivero H. (Peru). International consultant, ex-specialist in Adult Education at the UNESCO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (OREALC), in Santiago de Chile, and founding member of the Peruvian National Council of Education.
Miguel Soler Roca (Uruguay). Uruguayan teacher. Ex-Director of the UNESCO Division of Literacy, Adult Education and Rural Development and Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of the Republic, Montevideo.
Rosaura Soligo (Brazil). Teacher, trainer of teachers, researcher and collaborator in the Group of Studies and Research in Continuing Education (GEPEC) at UNICAMP and coordinator of projects at the Abaporu Institute of Education and Culture, Campinas/São Paulo.
Rosa Maria Torres (Ecuador). Coordinator of the Latin American Group of Specialists in Literacy and Written Culture (GLEACE). Coordinator of the Latin American Pronouncement on Education for All. Ex-Adviser of the Education Section at UNICEF-New York and editor of the bulletin Education News. Ex-Minister of Education and Cultures. Ex-Pedagogical Director of the National Literacy Campaign "Monseñor Leonidas Proaño". Moderator of the virtual networks E-ducative Community and Ecuador-reads-and-writes.
Vera Barreto (Brazil). Educator with great experience in Adult and Youth Education, Pedagogical Coordinator of the Vereda Centre of Studies in Education, São Paulo.
Cecilia Amaluisa Fiallos (Ecuador). Specialist in adult education. Ex National Director of Lifelong Popular Education at the Ministry of Education, Ecuador, member of the inter-governmental group responsible for formulating the Iberoamerican Plan for Literacy and Adult Basic Education 2007-2016, promoted by the Organization of Iberoamerican States (OIS).
Pep Aparicio Guadas (Spain). Specialist in literacy and adult education. Coordinator of the Centre of Resources and Continuing Education, of the Municipality of Valencia and President of the Paulo Freire Institute in Spain.
María de Lourdes Aravedo Reséndiz (Mexico). Master´s Degree in Sciences with a postgraduate diploma in Educational Research. Vice-director for Basic Contents at the National Institute for Adult Education-INEA.
Alberto Blandón Schiller (Colombia). Teacher. Director of the Popular School KAMINOS, Bogotá.
Carmen Campero Cuenca (Mexico). Lecturer-researcher at the National Pedagogical University and member of the Network of Adult and Youth Education.
Nélida Céspedes Rossel (Peru). President of the Latin American Council for Adult Education (CEAAL). Member of the Executive Committee of the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE), Regional Coordinator of Tarea in Ayacucho.
Susana Córdova Avila (Peru). Educator. General Director of the Institute for the Promotion of Quality Education (EDUCA Institute). Ex General Coordinator of the Integrated Literacy Programme in San Juan de Lurigancho (Edualfa Programme). Ex Director of the National Literacy Programme.
Francisco Cueto Villamán (Dominican Republic). Political scientist. Director of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences - Dominican Republic FLACSO Programme.
Lydia Ducret (Uruguay). Teacher. Director of the Review QUEHACER EDUCATIVO, of the Uruguayan Federation of Teachers (FUM-TEP).
Benito Fernández F. (Bolivia) Director of the German Association for Adult Education (AAEA)-Bolivia.
Dinorah García Romero (Dominican Republic). Educator. Ex General Director of Curriculum. Ex General Coordinator of the Poveda Cultural Centre.
Sandra González (Dominican Republic) Researcher. Coordinator of the Centre for Educational Studies/ Santo Domingo Technological Institute (CEED/INTEC).
Ana Margarita Haché (Dominican Republic). Associate professor of the Pontificate Catholic University Madre y Maestra. Trainer of teachers of Spanish as mother tongue. Expert in the preparation of educational material for the teaching of reading and writing.
Jefrey Lizardo (Dominican Republic). Economist. Associate researcher and member of the Academic Council of FLACSO- Dominican Republic Programme.
Sergio Haddad (Brazil). Educator. General Coordinator of the ONG Ação Educativa, São Paulo.
Argentina Henríquez (Dominican Republic) Educator, researcher. Co-founder of the Poveda Cultural Centre. Consultant for National Educational Reforms: Decennial Education Plan 1992- 2002; Strategic Plan 2002-2012; Decennial Plan 2008- 2018.
Rocío Hernández (Dominican Republic) Researcher. Lecturer in Adult and Youth Education. Dean for Teaching Management at the Santo Domingo Technological Institute - INTEC.
Raúl Leis R. (Panama). General Secretary of the Latin American Council of Adult Education (CEAAL).
Julio Alexander Parra M. (Venezuela). Graduate in Education. Facilitator at the Centre for Adult Basic Education - CEBA "Los Curos", Merida.
Sebastià Parra Nuño (Spain). Adult educador. Retired professor at the Universidad de Girona (Cataluña). Member of the Executive Council of the Paulo Freire Institute in Spain and of the Popular Education Association ‘Carlos Fonseca Amador´ in Nicaragua.
Magda Pepén Peguero (Dominican Republic). Associate researcher. Co-coordinator of the Education Programme and Coordinator of the Programme for the Promotion of Educational Reform in Latin America and the Caribbean (PREAL) of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences -FLACSO - Dominican Republic Programme.
César Rolando Picón (Peru). International Consultant, ex-General Director of Adult Education and ex-Vice-Minister of Pedagogical Management of Peru, ex-specialist in literacy and adult education at CREFAL, ex-UNESCO specialist in literacy and adult education in Central America, ex founding coordinator of the CEAAL Programme of Literacy and Popular Basic Education.
Magaly Pineda (Dominican Republic). Sociologist, researcher and feminist. Executive Director of the Centre of Research for Feminine Action - CIPAF.
Jorge Jairo Posada E (Colombia). Lecturer at the National Pedagogical University of Colombia. Invited lecturer on the Master´s Degree Course in Adult and Youth Education at the Santo Domingo Technological Institute - INTEC.
Mario Quintanilla Arandia (Bolivia). Director of the Institute for Research and Pedagogical and Social Training - IIPS. Specialist in the Reflect literacy method. Responsible for the literacy programme at IIPS in rural municipalities in Bolivia. University lecturer in Adult Education at the Salesian University.
Jorge E. Ramírez Velásquez (Colombia). International Centre for Human Development - CINDE, Bogotá.
Rudá Ricci (Brazil).Sociologist. General Director of the Cultiva Institute, of the National Executive of the Brazilian Budget Forum (FBO) and of the International Observatory for Participative Democracy (OIDP).
Jorge Rivas (Uruguay). Researcher at the Regional Centre for Cooperation in Adult Education in Latin America and the Caribbean - CREFAL, Pátzcuaro-Michoacán, Mexico.
Jorge Rivera Pizarro (Bolivia). Independent consultant. Adviser to the UNESCO Multi-country Office for Central America. Ex-Education Officer and Representative of UNICEF in Costa Rica and Argentina. Founder and first Director of the National Literacy and Popular Education Service of Bolivia (SENALEP).
Yadira Rocha (Nicaragua). Educational Sector, Institute for Development and Democracy - IPADE, Managua.
Brenno Sander (Brazil). President of the National Association for Educational Policy and Management - ANPAE.
Sergio Serrón Martínez (Venezuela). National Coordinator of the UNESCO Chair in Reading and Writing. Professor at the Experimental Liberating Pedagogical University.
William Thélusmond (Haiti). Coordinator of the Centre for Research and Developmental Action (CRAD). Coordinator of the 'Regroupement Education pour Toutes et pour Tous (REPT)'. Collective Network of CEAAL in Haiti.
Madeleine Zúñiga (Peru). National Coordinator of the Peruvian Campaign for the Right to Education. International Consultant on language, cultures and education.