International Adult Learners Week 2004 –
Adult Learning and Literacy for Democracy and Citizenship:
Profiles of International Plenary Speakers and Workshop Presenters
UNESCO Greeting Address
Michael Omolewa (Nigeria) is currently on leave of absence from the University of
Ibadan in Nigeria where he is Professor of Adult Education. He is Nigeria's Ambassador and
Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, and also President of the General Conference of UNESCO
for the 2003 - 2005 session. He was Dean of the Faculty of Education from 1985 to 1987, and
as Head of the Department of Adult Education, led his Department to win the UNESCO
International Reading Association Literacy Prize in 1989 and his research team to become the
runner-up for the UIE International Literacy Research Award in 1992. He was among the
team that prepared the background document for the United Nations Literacy Decade.
Key Note Address
“Adult Learning and Literacy for Democracy and Citizenship: What Kind of
Democracy do we Want”
Ahlin Jean-Marie Byll-Cataria (Togo) is the Chairperson of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). He has a university background of philosophy,
literature and education. Between 1979 and 1987, he was a trainer of literacy teachers at the
Training Centre in Niamey (Niger). He has been working with the Swiss Development
Cooperation (SDC) since 25 years. In 1994 – 2002, he was the head of the section of basic education at SDC. His current responsibilities at SCD include being Senior Adviser to the
section for West Africa and Programme Officer for the countries Mali, Cap-Verde and Guinea.
In addition, he continues to be responsible for the theme of education within the section.
First Theme: Citizenship
“Building Democracy: Learning Citizenship and Cooperative Governance”
Shona Butterfield (New Zealand) is the Acting Deputy Chair of the Tertiary
Education Commission. She was formerly the Chief Executive of the Open Polytechnic of
New Zealand. She has had a long career in education, both in teaching and in administration
and has been an active participant in the development of policy for education and training.
“The World Social Forum/UN Conferences”
Fatima Pandy (South Africa) is the Director of Fair Share, a unit of the School of
Government, University of the Western Cape. She has worked in the development sector in
South Africa for the past 18 years, where she started her career as a literacy teacher in an
informal settlement. Fatima has served as the Coordinator of the Peninsula Technikon’s Adult Basic Education Programme, and as the Director of the Gender Advocacy Project. As part of
the team of researchers working with the Gender Education Office (GEO) of the International
Council for Adult Education (ICAE), Fatima has done research on the access and impact of
learning on women and girls in South Africa, and Southern Africa.
Marta Benavides (El Salvador) from the International Institute for Cooperation
Amongst Peoples is a biologist, theologian, and educator. She has been engaged in the areas
of sustainability and durable peace within the framework of the United Nations Decade of
Education for a Culture of Peace. She is also working in the areas of lifelong education for all
at local, national, regional and international levels, practicing governance as a way to impact
from the bottom up. She is part of various networks aiming at horizontal leadership and a
conscious intentional culture, where she serves as a facilitator, mentor and resource.
“Social Cohesion and Active Citizenship in the European Union”
Else Husa (Norway) is Assistant Director-General in the Department for Learning and
Workforce Development in the Ministry of Education and Research in Norway. She is
working in the areas of lifelong learning and adult education, such as the “Competence Reform”, Adult Learners Week, and Education for Democratic Citizenship etc. She also represents the Ministry in one of the working groups of the European Commission on “Active
citizenship, equal opportunities, social cohesion”.
Beata Fiszer (Poland) is a sociologist, feminist, co-funder and member of the board of
the PSF Women's Centre feminist foundation. She is also coordinating the Forum for
Cooperation between the Parliamentary Group of Women and NGOs in Poland, and is a
member of the “Advisory Group of the Governmental Plenipotentiary for the Equal Status of
Men and Women”.
“Democratic Governance, Citizenship and Participation”
Sushan Acharya (Nepal) teaches non-formal education courses to students at
University masters level at Tribhuvan University. She has just completed her participation in
formulating the National Non-Formal Education Policy and Strategy. For a number of years,
she has been involved in research and evaluation in the area of NFE.
Shalini Joshi (India) is a social activist working with Nirantar, a centre for gender and
education, based in New Delhi, India. Currently she is the coordinator of the material
production work area in Nirantar. She coordinates the creation of material that enables neo-
literate and semi-literate adults in rural areas to access information. She also trains rural
women and grassroots workers to produce material in a democratic and decentralized manner
at the local level. She has been involved in visualizing and implementing research projects on
gender and education. She is also part of various campaigns and movements on democratic
“Learning Democratic Values and Attitudes”
Sturla Bjerkaker (Norway) used to be the Principal of the Nordic Folk Academy
(1991 – 95) in Sweden and is currently the Director of the Norwegian Association for Adult
Education. He is also a member of the board of the European Association for the Education of
Adults (EAEA) and a member of the Finance Committee of the International Council for
Adult Education (ICAE).
Second Theme: Inclusion
“Overcoming Barriers: Reaching out to Excluded Learners”
Kwesi Kwaa Prah (South Africa) retired as Professor of Sociology at the University
of the Western Cape in 1998. He is currently Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies of
African Society (CASAS) based in Cape Town. He is also a Professor Extraordinary for the
University of South Africa. Educated in Ghana, he took university degrees in the Netherlands.
He has held research and teaching posts in Sociology and Anthropology in various
universities across Africa (in 9 countries) as well as in Germany, the Netherlands, England
and China. Prah has written many books including Beyond the Color Line (1998), African
Languages for the Mass Education of Africans (1995) and Capitein. A Critical Study of an
th Century African (1992), The Bantustan Brain Gain (1989), Mother Tongue for Scientific 18
and Technological Development in Africa (2000).
“The Global Adult Learning Documentation and Information Network (ALADIN)”
Elaine MacLean (Canada) is an Associate of the Coady International Institute, where she co-facilitates a certificate program in Resource Centres for Learning and Change. Ms.
MacLean also holds a position as Head of Technical Services at the Angus L. Macdonald
Library of St. Francis Xavier University. She holds the degree of Master of Library and
Information Studies from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“Community Learning Centers as Resources Centers for the Excluded”
Maria Diarra Keita (Mali) has over 15 years experience in education and development work in Mali. In 1993 she founded the Institute for Popular Education (IEP) in
Kati, Mali, to develop education alternatives in Mali. Ms Keita has guided the Institute in
developing a community education for empowerment curriculum, trained youth for leadership
in education and development, and consulted extensively on issues of human rights and
gender equity. Prior to her work at IEP, Ms Keita was Secretary-General of a Malian
women’s NGO where she managed micro-enterprise and community leadership programs for
rural women’s groups. Ms Keita holds a Masters Degree in International Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (USA) and was trained as a teacher at the Ecole
Normale Superieure in Bamako (Mali).
Nebo Legoabe (South Africa) has been employed since 2000 as Chief Director for Provincial and Local Liaison at the Government Communication and Information System
(GCIS), the national government communication agency located in the Presidency of South
Africa. Her responsibilities include the management of three directorates, namely, the Local
Liaison and Information Management, responsible for the development of the communication
programme, the Institutional Development Directorate, responsible for the Multipurpose
Community Centre Programme of the government, as well as an administrative unit being
tasked with the oversight of the nine regional and 113 district offices of the GCIS. Before
joining GCIS, she was employed by the Center for Scientific Information Research Council
(CSIR), where she held a number of positions. She was also a part-time lecturer at the
University of Pretoria, and before that worked as a librarian at Vista University in Pretoria for
“Reaching out to Marginalized Communities with Communication Technologies”
Gordon Naidoo (South Africa) is Executive Director of the Open Learning Systems Education Trust (OLSET) South Africa. OLSET provides Distance Education by radio and
print, to assist in the teaching of English as an additional language in Primary Schools.
OLSET also provides on the ground support for Teachers through its sustained Inservice
Teacher Development programme countrywide.
“NGOs as Partners in Capacity Building and Education”
Ahmed Bayya (Morocco) is the head of Studies, Research and Projects at the Literacy Unit of the State Secretariat of Morocco, which is in charge of literacy and non-formal
education. He is a founding member of the partnership system with NGOs in the area of basic
education and training of adults, and was until recently supervising this system. Mr Bayya is
also the project coordinator of “Alpha Maroc”, which aims at improving the basic education
and training of adults and is currently being implemented in cooperation with the World Bank.
In addition, Mr Bayya coordinates a literacy project together with the Islamic Development
Third Theme: Equality
“Ensuring Equality in Diversity through Learning”
Eliane Cavalleiro (Brazil) has been trained in literature and pedagogic, and holds a
doctorate in education from the University of Sao Paulo. Her field of specialization is the
socialization processes of the Afro-Brazilian population. She used to be the coordinator of the
NGO Geledés – Institute of Black Women, which is undertaking education projects for youth,
adolescents and adults in the outskirts of Sao Paulo. Ms Cavalleiro has also given teacher
training, particularly for the public sector. She has published two books on racism and
discrimination in the education of children, among them “Racism and Anti-Racism in
Education: Rethinking our Schools”. Currently Ms Cavalleiro is coordinating the Unit on
Diversity and Educational Inclusion of the Secretariat of Continuing Education, Literacy and
Diversity at the Ministry of Education.
“Educating Migrants and Culturally Diverse Communities”
Stella Dadzie (UK) has been specialising in a range of race and equality-related
training, research, capacity building and consultancy work for nearly 20 years. She is a trained
teacher, and was a manager in a large Further Education College prior to setting up FRONT
LINE TRAINING in 1988. She is the author of a number of key publications and resources
aimed at promoting good practice in colleges, schools, local councils and other public bodies.
In November 2003, she received the NBM (Network for Black Managers’) Award for
Outstanding Contributions to Race Equality in Further Education.
Ilham Sawaya (Lebanon) is Programme Director of the Ecumenical Popular
Education Programme and also of TAOWQ, an organization working for human rights in the
Middle-East and North-African sub-region. She is responsible for the planning, follow-up and
evaluation, as well as for the research and production of didactic materials. In addition, Ms
Sawaya works as consultant and teacher trainer in public and non-governmental organizations
in the Arab region.
“Indigenous Populations: Knowledge as Resource”
Bronwyn Yates (New Zealand) has worked in the filed of adult and community
education, primarily in the area of adult literacy, for the past 16 years. Ms Yates has a
particular interest in education as a vehicle for excellence for te iwi Maory education and
wrote the chapter striving for Tino Rangatiratanga for the publication “The Fourth Sector”. Ms Yates also facilitates strategic planning, business planning, Te Tiriti o Waitangi,
governance, managements and policy development sessions for a number of organizations
and institutions throughout the country. Since more than 15 years, she has been a member of
various committees and organizations on adult education and training.
“Learning in Multi-Lingual Contexts”
Etienne Sadembouco (Cameroun) is a linguist, holder of the “Doctorat d'Etat”, and
lecturer at the University of Yaounde I in Cameroun. He is also the Deputy Director of the
NACALCO Center for Applied Linguistics, in charge of training trainers of adult literacy and
of standardizing mother tongue education programmes of unwritten local languages. He has
also produced didactic material for the trilingual education programme since 28 years.
Maxime da Cruz (Benin) is a linguist by training and currently professor at the
University of Abomey-Calavi, beside being the director of the National Center of Applied
Linguistics (CENALA). The main activities of the Center are to do research on national
languages and to produce didactic materials, also aiming at enlightening and accompanying
the authorities at different levels where ever linguistic policies are concerned.
Fourth Theme: Participation
“Adult Learners Weeks as Advocacy Strategies for Learning and Democracy”
Alan Tuckett (UK) has been the Director of NIACE, the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, the leading non-government organization for adult learning in the UK
since 1988. NIACE undertakes research and development, fosters good practice, runs
conferences and seminars and makes the case for more, better and different adult learning.
Alan Tuckett instigated an annual Adult Learners' Week in the UK in 1992, involving
broadcasters, policy makers, practitioners and learners. He is active in developing advocacy
work in the International Council for Adult Education; and co-operates with UNESCO in
promoting learning festivals.
Katarina Popovic (Serbia & Montenegro) is the President of the NGO "Adult Education Society" and the Director of the office of the Institute for International Cooperation
of the German Adult Education Association (IIZ-DVV) in Belgrade. IIZ-DVV is running
adult education projects in Serbia and Montenegro. She is also professor for andragogy/adult
education at the University of Belgrade.
Maja Avramovska-Trpevska (Macedonia) has been trained in pedagogy, psychology
and sociology, and later on in adult education. Since November 2002, she is the head of the
office of the German Adult Education Association (IIZ-DVV) in Skopje and coordinates the
projects of the office in Macedonia.
“Learning Festivals as Part of Learning Regions”
Jerald Joseph (Malaysia) is a consultant trainer at Pusat Komas. He conducts training of trainers for facilitation skills and human rights training, peace education and Indigenous
education. Mr Joseph also conducts human right trainings and UN HR Systems training. He is
actively involved with community development with the Semai Indigenous Peoples
community. Finally he equally works for youth development programmes within school and
Olga Agapova (Russian Federation) is the Director of the project office of the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association in St
Petersburg. Since 1993, the office has been supporting the design and implementation of adult
education programmes in partner organizations all over Russia, and is fostering cooperation
on adult education at local levels and international levels, thereby promoting the exchange of
information and experience in this field.
“The Emergence of Learners Forums”
Ismail Kasiita (Uganda) is the National Coordinator of the Uganda Literacy and Adult Learners' Association (ULALA). His work concentrates on mobilizing groups of adult
learners around the country.
Susan Nielsen (Canada) is the Executive Director of the Toronto Adult Student Association. She graduated from an adult learners centre in 1992, but did not come to
understand fully until years later just how her world would be affected by this one important
step of returning to school. In 1998 she was a founding member of the Toronto Adult Student
Association (TASA). She is working with all levels government, in addition to partnering
closely with many community organizations to advocate on behalf of learners and to ensure
access to democratic representation. TASA operates as a not-for-profit autonomous learners
association that currently represents over seventy thousand adult learners; Susan Nielsen sees
her role as ensuring that the learners' voice is heard, and essential support services are
“Mobilizing Learners through Literacy as Part of Learning Festivals”
Gloria Salmon (Jamaica) is a librarian and a former Director-General of the Jamaica Library Service, the island’s public library system. She is a former member of the Board of
Jamaica Movement for the Advancement of Literacy (JAMAL). She is also the first Vice
President of the Jamaica Council for Adult Education (JACAE), the Chair of the Adult
Learners’ Week Committee, and Member of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO.
Justin Ellis (Namibia) is the Under Secretary for Culture and Lifelong Learning in the Namibian Ministry of Basic Education, Sport and Culture. He is responsible for various
programmes in Adult Basic Education, Libraries and Archives, and Arts and Culture. He is
also the Chairperson of the Governing Board of the UNESCO Institute for Education in