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EPALE

Internetplatform for voksenuddannelsesområdet i Europa

 
 

Diskussion

Is adult learning needed in your country? What benefits does it bring and what is the evidence?

14/09/2018
- Markus Palmén

/el/file/adult-learning-policy-discussionAdult learning Policy Discussion

Adult learning Policy Discussion

 

Is adult learning needed in your country? What benefits does it bring and what is the evidence? What are the different kinds of adults and their learning needs? EPALE would love to hear your thoughts on these questions and more in this online discussion.

Share your opinion on any of the topics below and engage with your peers from across Europe in this online discussion moderated by EPALE Thematic Coordinator Markus Palmén.

  • What does ‘adult education’ mainly mean in your country for the everyday citizen? What is the main mental association?
    • One way to classify adult education could be to divide it into formal, non-formal, and informal. Does one type of adult education dominate in your country? Is this classification relevant?
  • What are the different types of adult learners in your country and what needs do they have?
    • How can adult learning best cater for these groups’ needs?
  • Who are the main providers of adult education in your country? How are they funded? Who sets the pedagogic agenda and syllabi?
  • What impact does adult education have in your country? To your knowledge, what evidence is there of this impact?
  • Who advocates for and promotes adult education in your country?

** Share your thoughts with the community in the comments below by 28 September!

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Markus Palméns billede
Very interesting point! To an extent you could argue that in some cases AE is already "compulsory". Think for instance of upskilling courses for unemployed one must take so as not to lose unemployment benefits. Is this type of education inherently motivating? Probably not. Can we then say that self-motivation is at the core of AE - the lifeblood of LLL? 
ALPER GÖZENs billede
Hello Claudio

I think compulsivity ruins adult education. Nobody comes.
Rosa M. Falgàss billede
En España la Educación de Adultos, como toda la Educación, está descentralizada. Cada Comunidad Autónoma puede organizar y aprobar leyes según sus intereses y necesidades. De todas formas, en general, aunque haya actividades del ámbito formal, no formal e informal, las que más se relacionan con Educación de Adultos son las formales. 
El día 21 de este mes en Girona celebramos el Día del Aprendiz https://diadelaprenent.blogspot.com/ El debate fue muy interesante ya que se habló de "cómo adaptar la Educación de Adultos a las demandas del siglo XXI". Fue un debate muy interesante ya que estamos de acuerdo que el público y las ofertas han cambiado.
En el debate participaron responsables de Educación de Adultos de Centros gubernamentales, municipales, auto-gestionados, ocupacionales y de Centros Cívicos. 
En breve publicaremos el resumen en castellano, inglés y catalán. 


Markus Palméns billede
Thank you Rosa! you explained that AE is decentralized in Spain and there is an ongoing discussion on adapting AE to the demands of modern times. An interesting debate to follow!  
Paulo ANTUNESs billede
I'm an Adult Education teacher/trainer in AE Moure e Ribeira do Neiva - Portugal, a public school in rural area (https://www.aemourerneiva.com/). Every school year we provide one Adult Course (secondary level) and modular training (English and ITC). We also have an Erasmus+ KA204 dedicated to our Adults and local local community (http://www.ka204goldenlinks.com/)
Concerning the questions, I share with you my modest opinion from the perspective of our territory / area of influence ;

What does ‘adult education’ mainly mean in your country for the everyday citizen? What is the main mental association?
'Adult Education' means formal education and it's the dominant stream. Adults only realize about non formal and informal when they come to school.

What are the different types of adult learners in your country and what needs do they have?
In our classes we have young adults (NEET), and workers with low qualifications (mostly family members of our children). 1/3 intends to pursue university studies, but most want to get a better job, or position in the company where they work.

How can adult learning best cater for these groups’ needs?
with greater support from the state and companies to adults and training institutions

Who are the main providers of adult education in your country? How are they funded? Who sets the pedagogic agenda and syllabi?
Most are included in the following group: Public schools, IEFP and some private VET schools. They are funded  by the state budget and European funds (namely in dual certification courses). ANQEP sets both (http://www.anqep.gov.pt/default.aspx)

What impact does adult education have in your country? To your knowledge, what evidence is there of this impact?
Adult education had a major boost with the "New Opportunities" initiative. However, with the previous government and Minister Crato, the country has returned to a period of "obscurantism" and disinvestment in adult education. Fortunately, with the current government, the new program "Qualifica" ( https://www.qualifica.gov.pt ) will reverse the trend, however, without the impact of the past. In the past the paradigm shift in adult education was felt in institutions. Today, operators feel isolated islands working without a policy with real impact and much needed financial support. Some evidence but there are more http://www.anqep.gov.pt?cr=18815

Who advocates for and promotes adult education in your country?
ANQEP (national agency), APEFA (http://apefa.org.pt/) Associação o Direto de Aprender (https://www.direitodeaprender.com.pt/) and other local / regional associations.
Locally, in institutions such as the one where I work, in which we think about an Adult Education and Training strategy and we act in the school community, in the local populations and in the surrounding territory, promoting a public service for the qualification of Vila Verde and Portuguese population.
Markus Palméns billede
Many thanks, Paulo, for this comprehensive outlook!
Markus Palméns billede
Thank you everyone for comments so far! Very interesting! And welcome to the discussion to our Portuguese, Hungarian and Cypriot colleagues! 

One topic I´d like to raise is measuring the impact of adult education and LLL. Can you share examples of how the societal impact of LLL is measured in your countries? Or is it? How is the need for AE justified and "quantified" to the authorities by the LLL lobbying organizations. 

One piece of research into this theme you will have heard about is the BeLL study that was completed already a few years ago. /en/resource-centre/content/benefits-lifelong-learning-bell 

More research into the impact of AE is needed for sure.
Maria Parmaklis billede

Hello everyone. My name is Maria Parmakli and I am a member of EPALE Cyprus NSS Team.

Adult Education in Cyprus is provided by many types of educational institutions. They can be differentiated in: public institutions, semi-governmental institutions and private institutions. According to the type of education or training they offer, they may also be clustered in institutions offering: formal adult education, non-formal adult education or (continuing) vocational training.

Currently, there is no systematic monitoring mechanism on a national level regarding adult education provision in Cyprus that covers all fields, from general adult education to continuing vocational training. Also, relevant information is split up. This, of course, does not mean that there are no actions related to Adult Education. On the contrary, in Cyprus, a number of state organizations involved in adult education are active in this field, such as “The State Institutes of Further Education”, the “Post-Secondary Institutes of Vocational Education and Training”, etc.

This challenge, the mosaic of adult education, covering various and different fields, can be addressed through EPALE, as this platform can be a virtual meeting place for the various adult education experts. In addition, through the different themes on which the EPALE structure is based, one can follow and get informed about the different fields of adult education, even if there is no common supervisory authority to coordinate all actions.

Regarding the necessity of Adult Education (ΑΕ), I believe that AE is, of course, necessary for my country as well as other countries.  Firstly, adult education is needed for social reasons, as it enables adults to become better family and community members, to accept diversity and become more tolerant. In addition, it enhances personal development and fulfillment. Adult education enables the acquisition of Life Skills (/en/content/new-european-definition-life-skills) that are important to lead a qualitative life.

Apart from these social reasons, adult education is also necessary for economic reasons, as it can help adults to re-skill, in order to maintain efficiency in their work or to acquire new skills and knowledge so as to enter or reenter the labor market. Especially in the case of Cyprus as well as other countries that are affected by the financial crisis, many people needed to expand their professional horizons in order to secure a place in the labor market or improve their career prospects.

As far as the funding of activities is concerned for lifelong learning (including public adult education), it is primarily based on European and on public funds. Since most adult education programs are State-run, funding is granted mainly through the State budget and is mostly free of charge or requires very low fees from the participants. Private adult education involves fees which are set by the directorates of the private institutes. Most vocational training programs are run by semi-governmental organizations or private companies; they involve fees. Much of the funding for continuing vocational training courses comes from the Human Resource Development Authority (HRDA). The HRDA is not a training provider itself, but it subsidizes up to 80 percent training programs implemented by public and private institutions and companies. Institutions such as the Cyprus Academy of Public Administration or the Pedagogical Institute of Cyprus do not charge attendance fees at the pre-service and in-service courses which are offered to civil servants and teachers respectively. Most of the programs by the Cyprus Productivity Centre involve fees and are partially subsidized by the HRDA. The Open University of Cyprus as well as other public Universities charge fees for short vocational courses as well as for postgraduate courses.


REFERENCES

"Adult and Continuing Education in Cyprus", Gravani, M. N. & Ioannidou, A. (2014).W. Bertelmann Verlag DIE (German Institute for Adult Education): Bonn, Germany. [Country Portraits Continuing Education] DOI 10.3278/37/0575w 

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“National Report O1- State of the Art in Adult education Strategies, policies, and tools”, Prepared by CARDET & Ministry of Education and Culture (MoEC)

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Maria Manuel Mano Casal Ribeiros billede
Hello everyone. I am Maria Ribeiro and I work at Lisbon's city council Adult education and training department, more precisely at de qualification Centre for adult with lower qualifications. In Portugal there are several institutions that work with adult education, public administration organizations but also training schools, schools, or the institute for employement, for example.  
Eszter KARVAZYs billede

Nowadays it is not a question whether adult education is useful or not. In order to adapt to the ever-changing „real life”, where knowledge becomes outdated quickly, there is no way to avoid learning in adulthood. Knowledge and competencies need to be updated and renewed continuously. Different pathways of adult learning also play a vital role in the fight against poverty within social policy, since economic inactivity and poverty are closely related.