Promotion of basic education

Since the beginning of the 1980s, ACCU, in cooperation with UNESCO, has been engaged in the promotion of basic education in the Asia-Pacific region. While “basic education” is often considered as synonymous to elementary and lower-secondary education, it is in fact a right of every human being and therefore should be equally accessible to all. It is an opportunity to acquire the basic knowledge and skills needed for people of all generations to carry on with their daily lives. Reflecting the diverse educational contexts and issues around the world, it also includes educational activities outside the school or in adult literacy classes.

ACCU’s literacy project

Our initial library development project which was launched at the time of ACCU’s establishment led to the recognition of the importance of literacy education. Today, ACCU’s “Joint Production Scheme” of literacy education, developed through partnerships with related agencies of various countries, has contributed to the development of UNESCO’s literacy learning materials. Furthermore, not only have ACCU’s picture books been translated into many languages and are read all over the world, but the short animated film “Mina Smiles”, which illustrates the importance of reading, writing and arithmetic, has been translated into 39 local languages in 30 countries, used in literacy classes and televised across the globe. By the mid-1990s, ACCU had launched the Literacy Resource Centre for Girls and Women (LRC) project in Asian countries, contributing to strengthening the capacity of organizations engaged in literacy support in each country. In recognition of our accomplishment over the years, ACCU was awarded the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize (honourable mention) in 2002. ACCU has been engaged in the SMILE Asia Project, an initiative supporting literacy education in Cambodia focusing on maternal and child health since 2008, and continues to organize events to raise awareness on literacy issues in time with the International Literacy Day celebrated every year on 8 September.

Other activities

ACCU has been providing technical assistance through support schemes designed by domestic organizations, such as sending specialists to engage in JICA projects related to non-formal education, among many others. We also cooperate with other agencies in publishing Japanese summaries of the Global Education Monitoring Report, which is a report focusing on global education goals, issued by UNESCO. We are also actively involved in domestic awareness-raising activities by delivering literacy and non-formal education-related lectures and classes upon request.

For more details on the SMILE ASIA Project, a literacy education support project themed on maternal and child health in Cambodia, please visit the Our projects link below.

Our projects

SMILE Asia Project