YMCA, Big 6 partners call for more non-formal education funding
The Big 6 Alliance of Youth Organisations recently released a joint position paper highlighting their collective commitment to advancing youth development through delivering quality non-formal education programmes. The joint position of the Big 6 aims at drawing more attention to the urgent need for increased investment in providing educational opportunities that go beyond the formal education system and underscores the importance of non-formal education and learning to tackle the global education crisis.
The joint position emphasises that non-formal education is an equally essential form of education and calls for more balance between the different education and learning dimensions. Non-formal education, best suited to help young people acquire life skills, values, and resilience to social changes, is often underestimated. Without proper recognition, the benefits of non-formal education to enable young people and communities to reach their full potential is left unrealised. The joint position further calls for increasing the recognition of non-formal education and its learning outcomes, as well as an increase in funding to non-formal education providers and its associated infrastructure (i.e. youth centres).
Formed in 1996, the Big 6 are an alliance of leading international youth-serving organisations that include: World Alliance of Young Men’s Christian Associations (YMCA), World Young Women’s Christian Association(YWCA), World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation. Together, the Big 6 actively involve more than 250 million young people. Supported by the involvement of adults, these organisations have contributed to the non-formal education of more than a billion young people during the last century.
The Big 6 actively call policymakers around the world to encourage and strengthen partnerships between formal, informal and non-formal education in order to create policies that holistically meet the education and learning needs of young people. The Big 6 invite other organisations to join the global conversation on jointly promoting non-formal education for the benefit of young people from different regions around the world.
The joint position was released following the World Non-Formal Education Forum, which convened more than 70 leading organisations in the non-formal education sector in December 2019.