From the 31st May through the 2nd June 2017, Luxembourg hosted the General Assembly and Annual Conference of the European Basic Skills Network (EBSN http://www.basicskills.eu). More than 100 experts from 20 European countries participated at this event.
Definition of Basic Skills
The network defines "basic skills" as the ability to: be literte, be able to communication in one or more languages of the country, be able to calculate, measure, orient oneself in space, use digital tools for information and communication.
EBSN European Basic Skills Network
EBSN was founded in 2010, it is a European association made up of policymakers and stakeholders of basic skill instruction. The members are: ministries, national adult learning institutions, universities, associations of the adult learning community and other education organisations. Currently there are 80 members from 35 different countries in the network. The network cooperates closely with the European Commission and the UNESCO.
The goal of the network is to develop basic skills policies in order to guarantee access to lifelong learning for all adults.
The 2017 Conference: « Basic skills for integration»
The conference theme " basic skills for integration" was chosen in relation to the current European migrants situation. Since the influx of migrants and asylum seekers in 2015, a lot of countries had to reinvent their integration offer.
During the two day conference, the participants were able to exchange ideas on policies and integration offers currently being implemented in the different countries.
Language learning has been identified as the first step towards integration. Nevertheless, basic language skills have to be complemented by the knowledge of basic skills in reading, writing and maths. It is important to included all adult learners, who were not able to get an education or were only able to get a very basic education as well as those who do not know the latin alphabet.
The complexity of the Luxembourgish multilingual situation took many conference particpants by surpise. The Luxembourgish measures which have been implemented are considered to be good practices.
The participants of the conference emphasised the importance of the coordination and exchange of godd practices between the different institutions invloved in the integration process of the asylum seekers.
From policy to good practice: «9+ integration workshop»
On the 1st of June , the participants of the conference visited the 9+ integration workshop in the presence of the Minster of Education Mr Claude Meisch.
The 9+ integration workshop was set up in cooperation between the Ministry of Education, the City of Luxembourg and DELTA association. The offer consists of French, Maths, English, Luxembourgish, courses as well as hands on experience in the workshop in order to apply the language and maths skills. In the workshops the larners also learn about the use of tools, materials and professional practices in relation to maintaining, repairing and renting bycicles. Painting with the airbrush as well as carpentry work and maintenance on parc installations such as parc benches and playgrounds also get tought in this workshop.
At the conclusion of the 9+ integration workshop a report card with orientation guidelines, as well as a description of the aquired skills will be given to each learner. This report card gives them to access vocational education training (VET) in adult education.
The learners showed their recognition to the Minister of Education, M Claude Meisch and to the Chair of the EBSN, Mrs Graciela Sbertoli by offering them a plaque with all their signatures on it.