On October 21st, 2015 EAEA’s Finnish member The Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation co-organised an event in Helsinki, Finland discussing the adult education scenario in Europe and its relevance in the global context.
Dr. Katarina Popović, Secretary General of the International Council on Adult Education (ICAE) and Per Pauldan Hansen, President of the EAEA were the key speakers at the event which was streamed live over the internet and saw active participation both by live audience and the web users.
Dr. Popović focused on the importance of adult education in an interconnected world and the sustainable development goals in the field of adult education and learning. Some of the key issues related to refugees, immigration and the need to educate/train them for better sustainability were also discussed.
Her presentation brought to light some startling facts related to adult education, global funding in developing countries which not many might be aware of. She pointed out that the 85 richest people in the world are as wealthy as the poorest 3 billion. She also underlined that obesity is now killing triple the number of people as compared to the ones who die from malnutrition. The officially recorded capital outflows from developing countries annually exceeds the money flowing in.
Dr. Popović also discussed the European model of adult education and learning with special focus on the Nordic countries. The changing paradigms in education, economy, social affairs, role of the state were among the other key issues discussed in the global context.
Mr. Paludan Hansen presented another key aspect of the challenges and regional trends in Europe related to the field of adult education. He addressed the main trends of 2015, integration and education of migrants, multi facet learning aimed at development of basic skills for low skilled and less educated learners.
The changing economic situation, legal frameworks, refugee crisis, employment and digitalisation were keenly discussed. The success stories and best practises relating to adult education and its role in tackling the refugee crisis were some of the highlights of the discussion. EAEA’s commitment to raise awareness on adult education and transform people’s lives was reiterated by the President.
The discussion was followed by a question and answer session with the speakers. The audience agreed that adult education is crucial to a better society and it’s also part of the solution for the refugees as well as the host countries. Life skills for individuals, active citizenship in democracy and better sustainability can be achieved through adult education and learning.
The recording of the full event is available at the YouTube channel of the event.
Text: Pushpender Rathee
Photo: Karoliina Knuuti