Reimagining Life Skills and Citizenship Education in the Middle East and North Africa

Conceptual and Programmatic Framework: A Four-Dimensional and Systems Approach to 21st Century Skills

Girls in a classroom


The situation of learning in MENA calls for a holistic, lifelong and rights-based vision of education that maximizes the potential of all children and youth in the region and better equips them to create meaning out of knowledge and to face the transitions from childhood to adulthood, from education to work, and from unreflective development to responsible and active citizenship. This is what drives the MENA Life Skills and Citizenship Education (LSCE) Initiative, kicked off in 2015 with the aim of supporting the countries of the region – conceptually, programmatically and technically – to improve learning and to better invest such learning in individual, social and economic development.

The LSCE Conceptual and Programmatic Framework (CPF) puts forth a roadmap to guide policies, strategies and programmes on life skills and citizenship education supporting the region-wide efforts to provide children and youth with opportunities to learn, transition from childhood to adulthood, move from school to work settings, and become responsible and active citizens of their communities.

A set of twelve core life skills for MENA has been identified using the four-dimensional learning model: ‘Learning to Know’ (Cognitive Dimension), ‘Learning to Do’ (Instrumental Dimension), ‘Learning to Be’ (Individual Dimension), and ‘Learning to Live Together’ (Social Dimension). The twelve core life skills are life-long, and they build on evidence that underlines the importance of skills acquisition from an early age. Furthermore, the twelve core life skills are acquired and sustained through all forms of learning in a systems approach that recognizes multiple pathways of learning, formal, non-formal and informal.

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