Dissemination Workshop of the Family Literacy Project Held

Dissemination Workshop Group Photo

A dissemination Workshop of the Family Literacy Project was held on February 25/2022 at Unison Hotel, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Around 70 Participants took part on the workshop. Academics in the area of Adult Education from 12 universities, adult education experts of all national regional states and city administrations, representatives of the Ministry of Education, International and National non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations, Bahir Dar City adult education experts, some study participants, Bahir Dar University top and middle administration, postgraduate students, and members of the media took part.

The project (2019-2022) is entitled "Family Literacy, Indigenous Learning and Sustainable Development", which is part of a bigger project - Meeting the SDGs: creating innovative infrastructures and policy solutions to support sustainable development in Global South communities (GS-DEV) which is the title of University of East Anglia's Global Research Translation Award (GRTA) (ref. EP/T015411/1). The award is funded by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA).
It is recalled that this project was first proposed at the international workshop on adult literacy and learning for sustainable development held in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia in May 2019 and was launched in Manila, the Philippines in November 2019.

The project has both research and intervention components. One of the interventions is the provision of training on family literacy and learning, community learning centres, and facilitation skills.
It was initiated aiming to explore indigenous and intergenerational learning and practices among different communities of partner countries. It also aims to find a way to develop bottom-up approaches to family literacy and learning.
In Ethiopia, particularly, the project aims to provide a base for initiating the policy makers to provide background for preparation of relevant policy/strategy and programs for family literacy and learning, which isn’t available yet.
The project carried out ethnographic research studies by each partner institutions, which are: Bahir Dar University, in Ethiopia, University of Malawi in Malawi, Tribhuvan University Research Center for Educational Innovation and Development (CERID) in Nepal, University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines and School of Education and Lifelong Learning and School of International Development, UEA, UK. The researches focused on exploring indigenous and intergenerational learning and family literacy in each country contexts.
The findings are being disseminated to local and international stakeholders bringing their attention to the possible contributions of indigenous and intergenerational learning and family literacy to the sustainable development of their countries. So far different dissemination workshops have been done via online platforms such as Zoom.

In this dissemination workshop, welcoming and opening speeches were made by Dr. Essey Kebede (BDU Academic Affairs Vice President) and Dr. Tesfaye Shiferaw (BDU Research and Community Services Vice President), respectively. On the welcoming speech, Dr. Essey remarked that BDU has been the oldest institute in Ethiopia in running adult education programmes and mentioned that BDU is a pioneer in opening the first Diploma and BA level Adult Education Programmes in the country. In his opening speech, Dr. Tesfaye reminded everyone that although this is the end of the project activities, it should be the beginning for all concerned bodies to take up promoting and undertaking family literacy and learning works.

After the workshop opening, the project outputs (intervention and dissemination activities mentioned above) were introduced/presented to the participants (by Abiy Menkir, Yeraswork Megersa, and Ermiyas Tsehay). Next, a documentary film was shown to the participants. Then, Turuwark Zalalam and Tizita Lemma presented the findings of the study to the participants. During the morning health-break, a story of the project and the study was presented with just photos taken at different times and different places. Besides, the representatives from Awramba started to explain the photos that were taken in Awramba, without preparation. The participants were excited about everything the heard and saw.

The whole afternoon session was allotted for discussions and reflections by the participants. Accordingly, a small group discussion was held with a world-café format. Discussion triggering questions were presented to the participants and sufficient time was given for discussion. Later on, during harvest, participants reflected the results of their discussion in each table. To make the discussions fruitful, participants were seated according to their category (e.g. academics, government structure, NGO/CSO…).