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EPALE - Plataforma eletrónica para a educação de adultos na Europa


EPALE discussion: Basic Skills Provision in Prisons

por EPALE Moderator


The EPALE online discussion on Basic Skills provision in Prisons will take place on the 17th December (Thursday) starting at 14.00 CET and finishing at 16.00 CET.

The discussion will be introduced by a 20-minutes long live stream with international experts James King (Scottish Prison Service and EPEA) and Maria Toia (CPIP and EBSN), moderated by Tamás Harangozó. The live broadcast will be accompanied and followed by a written online discussion.

You can access the video of the streaming at the top of this page, starting from the 17th December at 14.00 CET, and participate in the discussion writing your comments and inputs in the comment section at the bottom of this page.

What we will discuss about

Basic skills provision is at the heart of helping societies better respond to challenges in our fast-changing world and thus it is at the centre of EU policy too. There is a growing attention on basic skills trainings in specific environments e.g. the workplace or in the family, but also in prisons. On the 13th of October 1989, the Council of Europe adopted a set of recommendations that address the importance of educational activities in European prisons acknowledging that inmates have had very little successful educational experience, and therefore now have many educational needs; and that educational initiatives in prisons can be an important way of facilitating the return of the prisoner to the community.

The discussion will include the following topics: 

  • How can educational initiatives best address the basic skills needs of people in prisons?
  • What are the major benefits and challenges of basic skills training in prisons?
  • What are the most important challenges in the professionalisation of prison educators and basic skills teachers working in correctional institutions?

Our guest speakers

James King – Head of Learning & Skills from the Scottish Prison Service and new Secretary of EPEA (European Prison Education Association). James will provide an overview of EPEA’s role and its cooperation with EuroPris.

Maria Toia – Senior Researcher at CPIP – Center for Promoting Lifelong Learning and EBSN’s expert in adult education and pedagogy. Maria will introduce the currently running Erasmus+ KA3 policy project called EDUPRIS that focuses on developing educational tools implemented in correctional institutions.

Take part in the discussion facilitated by thematic experts from EBSN and share your thoughts and experiences on the topic!
Comments are already open so that participants can introduce themselves and start sharing their views.

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Apresentando 1 - 10 de 69
Retrato de Ramon Mangion
Thanks for sharing all these interesting ideas. I had an experience in teaching Basic Computer Skills in the local Prison school as part of my M.A in Adult Education teaching practicum. It was an interesting experience and I was pleasantly surprised with the prisoners' willingness to learn.  I thin that one of the first challenges for educators is to recognise and understand the environment; that is the prison environment. It is not your typical school or adult education setting and there are some restrictions. In my case for example I could not use any online resources or even teach certain things related to the internet since internet access was totally restricted. I even required a special permission to even use my own laptop and bring in an USB drive with material. 
Retrato de Tamas Harangozo
Dear All,

On behalf of the organisers and EBSN I would like to thank you all for joining today's live session and online discussion with Maria, James and me. It has been a rich and eventful couple of hours with many resources and inspiring thoughts. Although the moderation of the event is now finished, we would like to encourage you the continue sharing your thoughts and experiences with each other!

All the best,
Tamás Harangozó from EBSN 
Retrato de Maria Toia
Thank you Tamas for facilitating this discussion, it was a pleasure to participate and continue with this inspiring exchange of ideas. There's a lot to take away for reflection and start a (much needed) discussion on basic skills provision in prisons accross Europe!

All the best,

Retrato de Uros Velickovic
Here is an example of one E+ KA2 project in this field that dealt with the development of the framework of basic andragogical training program for prison educators, with some useful resources: 

 “Basic Andragogical Training for Prison Educators” (BATPE) project focused on improvement of prison educators competencies needed for adequate work with imprisoned people. 

These are the two documents that represent main results of this project: 

Basic Andragogical Training for Prison Educators Curriculum:, and 

Basic Andragogical Training for Prison Educators Manual:

The application of BATPE Curriculum and Manual should help trainers to equip teachers that work in correctional institutions with required competencies needed for educational work with prisoners in optimal manner. These competencies refer to: psychology of learners in prisons; didactics; communicational and social aspects; professional and soft skills development; planning and organization; and evaluation and assessment. 

Coordinator of the project was Serbian Association of Andragogists (SAA) from Belgrade (Serbia). Partners on the project ware Koinè, the voluntary organization from San Felice a Cancello (Italy) and Gebze Public Education Center (GPEC) from Gebze (Turkey). 
Retrato de Tamas Harangozo
Dear Uros,

Thank you for sharing these interesting and relevant materials. To me the second link does not seem to function. Could you please help? 

Thank you!

Tamás - EBSN

Retrato de Uros Velickovic
Dear Tamas,

Sorry for being late with the answer - the both links should be working now.

Best regards,

Uros, EPALE NSS Serbia

Retrato de Tanja Janicic
Hello everyone, 
In Serbia we have Schools for Adults Elementary Education, and providing proscribed curriculum and learning outcomes of Functional Elementary Education for Adults. Those schools can provide education in prisons, but it is not obliged nor for schools and not for inmates. 
Me and my colleagues from the School for Adult Primary Education have been working in the district prison since September this year. We have positive experiences in the sense that the participants are interested and actively participate in the learning process. Our approach to them, which is no different from our approach to all our other participants, certainly contributes to that. Through learning basic skills, we also bring soft skills such as collaboration, teamwork, communication and more. 
An additional courses organized by people and institutions that have many years of successful practice in prison would enable better access and work of experts in prison.

Retrato de Maria Toia
Dear Tanja, this is very interesting. Do you have any resources in English to share with us? Would be interesting to have a look at the curriculum and how you organise learning. 
Retrato de Orsolya Esztergályos
In Hungary, elements of the reintegraion program provide opportunities for persons under arrest and their relatives. This also reduces the extent of their social exclusion.
Retrato de Andreas Koreimann
An actual E+project from Austria: The Catholic Organisation for Adult Education and the prison Klagenfurt are cooperating since the year 2003 to enable further education and personal development for inmates. The prison’s head together with the education department of prison and the Catholic Organisation’s lecturer plan and arrange the appropriate offers for the inmates. Afterwards, the educational opportunities get organised and realised by the Catholic Organisation for Adult Education. Moreover, it selects and trains new lecturers and trainers who are going to work with the inmates. All persons involved meet regularly to connect and exchange their experiences. More informations about the project you fill here.
Best wishes from Austria