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EPALE focus: Social inclusion of the ageing population and intergenerational learning

- EPALE Moderator
Sprog: EN
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EPALE focus: Social inclusion of the ageing population and intergenerational learning

In the context of demographic change throughout Europe, older people are a large and growing part of the European Union’s population. It is therefore crucial to provide high quality learning opportunities for older people, and to include them in strategies of lifelong learning and active participation in society.

According to the WHO’s Active Ageing: a Policy Framework, population ageing is one of humanity’s greatest triumphs, as well as one of its greatest challenges. Global ageing will put increasing social and economic demands on all countries. Countries can afford to have ageing populations if governments, international organisations and civil society enact active ageing policies and programmes that enhance the health, participation and security of older citizens – states the World Health Organization.

To facilitate the integration of older people in society we need to pursue opportunities which fully develop their potential. Senior citizens should have access to the educational, cultural, and civic resources of society. They need to be able to fully participate in societal life and be active, autonomous, and healthy as they age.

Therefore, the lifelong learning needs of older learners should be a priority for education providers who need to develop high quality and specific training programmes.

Intergenerational learning can contribute to social cohesion by promoting cooperation between different generations. Many intergenerational initiatives and practices have been seen in recent years, and the opportunity for cooperation between generations is increasingly acknowledged as a way of pursuing an inclusive, dynamic and fully democratic society.

It is in this context that we present the fourth thematic focus of 2020:

Social inclusion of the ageing population and intergenerational learning.

  • Do you work with older learners?
  • What target groups do you work with?
  • Do you know of policies, strategies and initiatives that target older learners in your country, region or city?
  • Who do they focus on?
  • What do you think needs to happen to make sure that adults remain active members of society as they age?

Share your experience with our community! You can do that by publishing content on our blognewsroomevent calendar and resource centre!

On 28 October 2020 we have also run our Online discussion.

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  • Edita Tamšes billede
    The Social Activation programme is funded by the Slovenian Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, the European Social Fund and local communities. The aim of the programme is to strengthen the social inclusion of participants, increase their employment opportunities, raise motivation and strengthen existing or acquire new social and functional competences to effectively tackle the barriers that hinder these persons from entering the labour market and consequently lead them to social exclusion and life below the poverty line. It is precisely because of the specific characteristics of the target group that it is on the mentors' side to form a prudent curriculum of activities, such as getting used to the routine, encouraging the reintegration of participants into the social environment, raising motivation and the acquisition of functional and social competences.   
  • Dijana Lukics billede

    ZDUS – Slovene Federation of Pensioners Associations, as a representative NGO of older people, they are our sole target group. All our activities in various fields are directed towards engaging older people to live an active, healthy, independent life as long as possible. We believe this process should start even before a person gets retired. A few years before retirement starts, older workers should be equipped with knowledge about what old age brings, how to continue life after they officially retire, what are their options and how to stay included in those activities which suit them to most and which bring them a happy and fulfilling third life period. In Slovenia we have such examples of pre-retirement seminars, but for now they only exist for specific profession (like the military, police or teachers). By engaging in organised activities in their local environment (for example in amateur culture, recreational activities, active citizenship, volunteering, life-long learning etc.), they stay actively involved and can contribute to society. 

  • Dijana Lukics billede

    At ZDUS – Slovene Federation of Pensioners Associations we believe that in the times of social isolation due to COVID-19 the importance of learning in older age and for old age has on the one had become more visible and on the other it revealed where the gaps in learning are. For example as most services, events and other daily life responsibilities moved to only being available online, the vast majority of older people who are not e-literate, were excluded from participating and exercising their rights. In this situation we believe intergenerational learning could be beneficial, but since older people are a vulnerable group and younger people were advised to take care of their seniors and not expose them to the risk of Covid-19, physical intergenerational learning could not happen. Certainly COVID-19 exposed that older people will have to be engaged in e-learning in the foreseeable future. 

  • Dijana Lukics billede

    At ZDUS – Slovene Federation of Pensioners Associations we believe social inclusion of older learners is very important. Based on our experience in the MATURE project - Making Adult Teaching Useful, Relevant and Engaging (LLP 2012-2014), we found out that adult educators need to recognize and work closely with the so called “intermediaries”. These are agencies and community organisations that have the trust and confidence of older people and they need to be recognized in playing a vital role in engaging older learners to participate in adult education and life-long learning. It’s their responsibility to reach out to those older people who experience barriers to participation in learning, especially if the reason is social exclusion. Reaching out in such cases means going to environments common to older people and reaching out to them in places where “traditional” learning normally does not occur, outside education facilities. We believe adult educations policies and initiatives should be directed towards minimising or removing barriers that may exclude older people from any part of the learning process.

  • Iveta Pētersones billede
    Starppaaudžu mācīšanās ir tik vērtīga! Gan jaunā paaudze no tā daudz var mācīties, gan vecākā paaudze no tā spēj daudz iegūt, tas ir abpusēji izdevīgi. Esmu lasījusi zinātnisko rakstu par šo tēmu un noteikti varu piekrist, ka starppaudžu mācīšanās ir jāaktualizē Latvijā, jo visi tajā ir ieguvēji un, tādējādi veidojas sociālā saliedēšanās. Starppaaudžu mācīšanās ir jābūt vēlmei iesaistīties un palīdzēt viens otram, jo tikai tā var sasniegt labākos rezultātus. Sadarbojoties ar vecāko paaudzi, jāatdzīst, ka viņi ļoti labi un ātri apgūst jaunas prasmes vai zināšanas par tehnoloģijām, un pielieto tās savā ikdienā. Varu viņus par to slavēt! Tāpēc novecojot šie cilvēki spēj pilnvērtīgi piedalīties sabiedriskajā dzīvē un pēc iespējas veiksmīgāk socializēties ar citiem, jeb sociāli iekļauties sabiedrībā.
  • Carmen Medina Garríguezs billede
    I'm very interested in this topic as I have just turned 61 and have found that at this age many think that you are not eligible for a job or that you have lost your potential. Not only do I think that once one has retired they can help educate their peers, but also offer experience and expertise to younger generations.
    I work at a government-funded language school in the south of Spain. My students' ages range from 16 to 70 or older. They actually work well together. We work from the communicative skills (R, W, L, Sp and Mediation), but I also like to include critical thinking and problem solving tasks which encourage collaboration, although as we all know, these are difficult times for interaction. We usually have a once a week face to face meeting which alternates with an online Zoom meeting where students can communicate freely (break out rooms, whole class, etc.) without the restrictions wearing a mask offers.
    My classes are extremely diverse and include teachers, hospital workers, engineers, vets, etc. Many of them are over 50 and some are retired.
    Regarding policies and strategies, the Ministry of Education does provide education for our seniors:
    I think a good idea would be to have adults that have been in education help train those who have not been able to access education. I also believe that in many sectors this same policy could be applicable.
    Unfortunately, these are difficult times and keep on seniors while at the same time trying to incorporate youth to the job market is a hard puzzle to solve.
  • Waldemar Olbryks billede
    there are some places ( offices ) for 50+enterpeneurs who starte their 2nd or 3rd career. ( it is nicely named : mid-life enterpreneur)
    One can add the cross generaiton exchange ( wisdom against youth ) and we can create value powered by collective wisdom

  • Elza Eihmanes billede
    Patiess prieks, ka arī Rīgā tiek aktualizēti jautājumi par senjoru izglītošanos, piemēram, pieprasīti ir neformālās izglītības kursi Rīgas izglītības un informatīvi metodiskajā centrā, Rīgas Aktīvo senjoru alianse realizē apmācības dažādās sfērās, Nodarbinātības Valsts aģentūrā ir aktīva programma " Konkurētspējas paaugstināšanas pasākumi", kurā nav vecuma ierobežojumu, vēl Izglītības un Zinātnes ministrija realizē Mūžizglītības programmu, izvēle tiem, kuri vēlas pilnveidoties, ir, domāju, ka ar laiku iespējas izglītoties, socializēties vecāka gadagājuma cilvēku starpā tikai paplašināsies.
  • Ewa DUDAs billede
    Temat ten jest szczególnie ważny w dobie pandemii. Z jednej strony osoby starsze stanowią największą grupę ryzyka, zatem powinniśmy dołożyć wszelkich starań, aby edukować ich, wszystkimi dostępnymi formami, na temat czyhających zagrożeń. Z drugiej strony nie możemy seniorów całkowicie izolować pod pretekstem COVID-19, powinniśmy w bezpiecznych warunkach angażować ich w działania edukacyjne mające na celu stymulację, ale również przekazywanie wiedzy, wartości i tradycji, które jeśli o to nie zadbamy, znikną bezpowrotnie. 
  • Laura Dīriņas billede
    Kā lielisku piemēru varu minēt pieaugušajiem paredzētos dienas centrus. Tur senioriem notiek gan izglītojošas, gan izklaidējošas nodarbības. Viens no vissvarīgākajiem pasākumiem ir viņu viesošanās bērnu dienas centros un otrādi - arī bērni no dienas centriem viesojas pie senioriem.