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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe



Permanent Education Referentialization from José Mariano Gago (former Portugal Minister).

by Etelberto Costa
Language: EN


This article is inspired on the curiosity of relating two events:

The Faure report Learning to Be (Faure, 1972) advocated lifelong education as the master concept for educational policies in Europe;

"Areas of Learning Basic to Lifelong Learning", (Pergamon Press and the UNESCO Institute for Education, 1986) in 1978-1979, where José Mariano Gago was one of the nine authors invited by Paul Lengrand to discuss, specify and develop basic learning areas for Lifelong Learning (P. Lengrand (org.).

“The relation between science and knowledge has become restrictive, existing only in the form of domination on the part of science; it can not be conceived that any popular idea can even be briefly considered by science. The relation between science and education and, more generally, popular knowledge, shows even more clearly this division of powers and the absence of any really creative interaction between popular cultures and scientific cultures. This same absence is also revealed among institutions within social divisions; the path that would lead to a type of learning capable of contributing to popular culture is not the one chosen by scientists. On the other hand, educators, who could make this bridge, are generally far away from the practices and concerns of contemporary science. Thus, we encounter a double problem: on the one hand, scientists who do not interact with images that would enrich popular culture and science; on the other hand, educators, who could play a determining role in such interaction and dialogue, but have no real access to scientific practice”...

From the chapter José Mariano Gago produced on "The Scientific Spirit".


“The Faure report Learning to Be (Faure, 1972) advocated lifelong education as the master concept for educational policies in both developed and developing countries. It was seen as a turning point and the start of a period of optimism in international education policy, as it recognized that education was no longer the privilege of an elite, or a matter for one age group only. Instead, it concluded that education should be both universal and lifelong”.

“Essentially, this meant moving to a humanistic, rights-based and holistic view of education (Ouane, 2011). With the UNESCO report on “Learning: The Treasure Within” (Delors, 1996) and the OECD report on “Lifelong Learning for All” (OECD, 1996) LLL was linked to the economic, social, cultural and environmental challenges that societies and communities face. There was a stronger orientation towards the principles of human capital and employability. In the European Union, the LLL discourse entered into a third phase from the year 2000, influenced by the EU’s goals of creating the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world and ensuring social cohesion”. (Ehlers, 2017- Lifelong Learning: Holistic and Global Education).


So it is rather relevant, in my search curiosity, the influence that this former Science and Higher Education Portuguese Minister, carried from his popular education activities in the mid-1970s to Portuguese immigration in Paris and the People's University of Geneva, to the measures he took, much later as a Minister, to improve conditions for access to higher education by of adults over 23 years of age and forecast European and Portuguese Education policies, and for the case meaning on Adult Education and Lifelong Learning. Sometimes we don't understand the roots for some events taking place. This one´s are now being discovered.


More can be explored @APCEP – the Portuguese Association for Lifelong Culture and Education ( that was formally established on 27 September 1982, with the central purpose of "defending cultural democracy".

Ultimately APCEP intends to actively contribute in the implementation of an “educational society” in Portugal – for everyone, at all stages of life and in every quarter of society.

When José Mariano Gago died, he was currently Chairman of the General Assembly Board of the Portuguese Association for Culture and Permanent Education, APCEP. And about this concept it is perhaps another curious reason to reflect writting about their Permanent Education perspective of action, achievement and experimentation.

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