The 19th Adult Education Colloquium (AEC) – the most prominent professional event within Lifelong Learning Week 2015 – has taken place today, on 16 June in Kranjska Gora on the theme 'I can, therefore I am'. Promoting adult skills. A constituent part of the event is the national opening of the Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe – EPALE.
The AEC is a joint venture of SIAE and the National Support Service for EPALE in Slovenia, located at CMEPIUS.
Elvira Šušmelj (general directress of the Secondary, Higher Vocational and Adult Education Directorate, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport ) greeted over one hundred participants from Slovenia and abroad, and wished us a fruitful meeting on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and the national Board of LLW 2015.
Helen Casey (National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy, Institute of Education, University College London) discussed teaching adult literacy and pointed out that specialist skills are needed. She underlined the perspective of adult literacy learners, the learners’ success stories, and presented the ways we achieve this. After presenting which methods work best, she pointed out that the teacher struggle with those that need more intensive or expert help, i. e. adult learners. Adult teachers start from what learners can do but this is not enough. In addition to practice they need deep understanding of language subject and specified content to select strategies for individual learners taking into account their personal context.
Géraldine Libreau (European Commission, Directorate General for Education and Culture ) underlined how EPALE can add value to the adult educators’ community. After introducing EPALE as the tool for the professional development of adult educators in Europe, she pointed out the importance of adult educators connecting and learning from each other as well as the goals and reasons for developing EPALE, present achievements and plans for the future. EPALE is collaborative, user driven, multilingual and designed to become a reference on adult learning in Europe, and should become essential to any professional in the field.
Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik (Slovenian Institute for Adult Education) had the opportunity to present the Slovenian project Implementation of the Renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning (EAAL) 2012–2014 in Slovenia, which brought us the Learning Parade (LP) 2013 & 2014, four video publications and a number of other results. She addressed the issue of raising awareness of the importance of adult education, that our activities are aimed at those with poor levels of education/training and other deprived target groups, that we are promoting the development of essential skills and certain specific skills, encouraging the use of ICT, social networks and so on. While introducing the aim of the professional EAAL events, i.e. the so called Promoting Adult Skills (PAS) events, she pointed out that they show existing endeavours at the local level with regard to promoting adult skills, to present achievements and define opportunities and challenges in this field.
Mateja Pečar, Slovenian Institute for Adult Education