International Resource Guide Contextualizes Instruction to Build Basic Skills

Paul Jurmo, Ed.D., a basic skills education specialist and researcher, recently partnered with ProLiteracy to release Basic Skills for Community-Oriented Development: A Resource Book for Educators and Other PartnersThe resource guide was written to assist those who are already providing, or wish to provide, basic skills education to adults and out-of-school youth in developing countries. 

Jurmo uses this research-based guide to help users build an understanding of 

  • the status of basic education in developing countries, 
  • why basic skills are important to a country and its people, 
  • how collaborations between providers and other stakeholders can help learner populations develop basic skills, 
  • the components of an effective basic skills effort, 
  • the steps to starting a new basic skills program or how to strengthen an existing program, and 
  • useful resources to execute a plan. 

In 70 pages, Basic Skills for Community-Oriented Development reviews the evolution of basic skills education in developing countriesfrom colonial times to the 1980s. It then looks at how basic skills education has expanded in recent times and the continued need for greater access. 

Twenty-one programs and partnerships with diverse learner populations, development challenges, and basic skills needs are highlighted to show different approaches developed to increase basic skills around the world. 

Basic education providers and potential partners (e.g., providers of other services, funders, and policy makers) can use this document to expand their understanding of challenges and options to consider. The guide includes steps to help them to launch their own basic skills programs in response to the unique needs of their communities. 

Jurmo has worked in diverse basic education roles and on projects in the United States, Canada, Africa, and the Pacific. ProLiteracy is pleased to have worked with him on this new resource. 

Download a copy of Basic Skills for Community-Oriented Development here 

Learn more about Paul Jurmo and his work at  


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