The training seminar, to be held in Hamburg between 7 September 2005 and 10 September 2005 will provide thirty adult educators with the opportunity to compare their practical experience and to put down the foundations of a network for cooperation at the European and international level. The seminar will also prepare a publication and precise recommendations.
Non-formal education must occupy a central place in educational initiatives in prison, because it is often the first step in reintroducing detainees to the world of learning.
Detainees typically have bad memories of their school years. Reproducing this formula in prison will rarely induce great success, unless they are the only activities that offer detainees the opportunity to get out of their cell and break their routine.
Non-formal education offers everyone a space to question, develop and plan. Educators help detainees dis-cover or rediscover motivations, emotions and life plans through cultural activities that they have often underrated or even disregarded.
These initiatives are also an opportunity to meet representatives of civil society and to accordingly reconnect in some small way with the outside world.
Those involved in non-formal education rarely have the opportunity to exchange practical experiences, know-ledge, success stories or tests. They are sometimes faced with a lack of understanding about their work even in prison ("It´s entertainment not serious education"!), a lack of time and space, a lack of permanent trai-ning and a lack of multi-disciplinary coordination.
The seminar will take place at the Unesco Institute for Education, which has a major documentation centre devoted to adult education, literacy and non-formal education. The centre will be accessible to those looking for docu-ments that will enable them to build up a more theoretical contemplation of non-formal education.
The Unesco Institute for Education (UIE) is responsible for adult education, literacy and non-formal education. Within this remit, the UIE promotes every initiative in the sector of Education for all. Education in prison is based on this perspective. Detainees must be able to place the progress they make in the framework of lifelong edu-cation, enabling them to catch up with their fellow humans in their different fields of activity. That is why edu-cation in prison cannot be limited to or focused on occupational training, although these are practical.
The purpose of non-formal education in prison is to provide the keys to the life plan in a collectivity: learning to understand oneself, learning to work with others, learning to learn, learning to develop and learning to succeed.