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Thematic Debate Invited experts addressed four key questions:

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1 Information literacy for lifelong learning Abdelaziz Abid Information Society Division

2 Thematic Debate Invited experts addressed four key questions:
What is Information Literacy? What are people’s needs? What education programmes are needed to meet these needs? What strategies and actions can UNESCO and IFAP implement?

3 Information Literacy WSIS declared “common desire to build a people-centered, inclusive… Information Society, where everyone can create, access, utilize and share information and knowledge…”

4 What is Information Literacy?
The concept not well understood by Governments or societies; The term does not translate easily into French or other languages and this makes it difficult to promote at an international level;

5 What is Information Literacy?
Of particular relevance in a digital world are the abilities to evaluate information critically and to create information; The latest definition of Information Literacy, produced by CILIP (2004) is: “Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner.”

6 What are People’s Needs?
Information literacy- concern to all sectors of society; Developing countries need a more proactive role in determining solutions most appropriate to needs; The 2005 EFA Report revealed there are 799 million adult illiterates and 64% of these are women; Information literacy enables people to access information about their health, their environment, their education and work; People require ICT literacy to access digital information; in information societies this is a necessary pre-condition for information literacy.

7 What Education Programmes are Needed?
Migration from “unconscious incompetent” to “conscious incompetent” and only then to “conscious competent”; An Information Literacy curriculum (at all levels) accepted by Governments and education administrators; Educationalists to change focus from information technologies to information;

8 What Education Programmes are Needed?
Teachers are a barrier in creating more information literate students and therefore education programmes must be directed at them in the first instance; Opportunity for information literacy to become a cornerstone in programmes developed as part of the United Nations’ Decade for Literacy, especially for women and out-of-school girls.

9 Strategy Develop international policy guidelines
Support curriculum development and distance learning initiatives- training in IL should be included in initial and in-service training programmes as part of teachers’ ongoing professional development. Promote models of best practice that can assist in the adoption of information literacy skills. Support exchange of experiences and professional development

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