30.10.2013 IN FOCUS

EAEA Response to the European Parliament's report on "Rethinking Education"

The European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) welcomes the European Parliament´s report on Rethinking Education that was adopted in the Education and Culture Committee this week.

EAEA agrees that ‘the role of education to be much broader than just fulfilling the economic targets of European and national strategies; reaffirms, in this connection, the primary mission of education as being the preparation of individuals for life as well as for being active citizens in increasingly complex societies´.

EAEA also welcomes the strong focus on equality of access to education in the report and the understanding that special outreach to and measures for vulnerable groups are necessary for more inclusive lifelong learning systems.
EAEA very much supports the proposed structured dialogue with learners - adult education strives to include learners´ voices in its decision-making and strongly promotes the empowerment of learners and the improvement of quality this approach brings to lifelong learning.

EAEA emphasizes the important role of civil society when it comes to designing and implementing lifelong learning strategies. We believe that partnerships between policy-makers and civil society are necessary to link policies to practice - this way, the quality of lifelong learning systems can be improved and reforms that work in practice can be implemented.

EAEA agrees that flexible and individualised learning pathways are important for people to get into and stay in lifelong learning. Combined with these pathways, efficient systems for recognising and validating prior learning are necessary - EAEA therefore calls on member states to respect the aims they have set themselves in the Council Recommendations and especially to work with civil society and providers of non-formal learning in order to establish excellent systems.

EAEA concurs that the participation of adults in lifelong learning is far too low, but would like to go beyond the recommendations of both European Commission and European Parliament: We believe that adult education is the key for more knowledge, skills, competences and participation in Europe. It has the potential to increase competitiveness and employability but also democracy, inclusion, health and well-being. The PIAAC results clearly show the need for more investments and efforts when it comes to adults learning - please consult also our statement and recommendations on the results of PIAAC.

Download the statement as a PDF file