Education is the key driver to economic development and sustainable livelihoods and thus the concept of Lifelong Learning (LLL) which aims at providing continuous learning.
Speaking today while she presided over the opening ceremony of a two-day Policy Dialogue on LLL in Kenya, Education Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Dr Sara Ruto said lifelong Learning is the voluntary and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for not only personal but professional reasons.
She noted that it does not only enhance social inclusion, activate citizenship and individual development, but also LLL increases competitiveness and employability leading to personal fulfilment and satisfaction.
“We are living in a dynamic world that demands us to keep up to date with emerging socio-economic and technological changes by acquiring new knowledge and developing new skills and capacities through continuous learning,” said Ruto.
The CAS expounded that lifelong learning is based on the recognition that human beings have a natural drive to explore, learn and grow and encourages one to improve the quality of life and sense of self-worth by paying attention to the ideas and goals that inspire them.
Ruto emphasized on the need for lifelong learning noting that Kenya is among the countries that endorsed the Education 2030 Agenda which is guided by Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4), ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting LLL opportunities for all.
“LLL takes place throughout life from ‘Cradle to Grave’ and by people of all ages as they strive to acquire knowledge and skills to meet their ever-changing needs,” she added.
She said although the Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education, TVET and Universities as well as other Government Departments and Agencies have played a key role in promoting LLL in the country, narrow conceptualisations of the LLL field and conceptual tension between adult learning and LLL has continuously led to reduced attention of this area of education at both policy and practice.
Following the Lifelong Learning reduced attention, CAS said the two-day dialogue has been organised to facilitate sharing of experiences and lessons learnt towards strengthening LLL in the country.
In his remarks, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) representative Alex Howells, said they are committed to support LLL in Kenya.
“We are hoping that the dialogue shall lead to a development policy which shall promote lifelong learning in Kenya,” said Howells, adding that Lifelong Learning shall not only provoke new ways of thinking but also empower people to learn from others.
The two-day dialogue drew participants from institutions focusing on Life Long Learning key among them being UIL, Hamburg, Germany, Kenyatta University, Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education (DACE), Kenya National Qualification Authority (KNQA), Multimedia University, Mt Kenya University, among others.
By Catherine Muindi