On 19th of February, during its Board meeting in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, EAEA’s Executive Board met with the Slovenian Minister for Education.The meeting was the opportunity for the participants to present some key advocacy points for adult education in Europe.
EAEA President Per Paludan Hansen (on the left) and SIAE Director Andrej Sotošek (on the right) handed the Manifesto for Adult Learning in the 21st Century to Maja Makovec Brenčič, the Minister of Education.
"Adult education is very important for employment and employability. European Commission's New Skills Strategy, to be published in the next few months, will focus on employment and employability, but adult education and lifelong learning are much more than that. It it is also about getting a new chance in life and finding a place in the community," underlined the EAEA President Per Paludan Hansen in the meeting.
The EAEA Secretary General Gina Ebner asked the Minister to support adult education and lifelong learning at the next meeting of Education Ministers, as not all countries support the sector on the same level.
"We can have a common voice. You have my support," confirmed the Minister.
The Minister also talked about the discussions that education Ministers are having in the European Council on radicalization.
"It is important to enable people to know that there are different cultures in the world and that we need to learn to live together. Multicultural understanding starts with pre-schools; we need to embed the topic within the schools and continue with it on the lifelong learning spectrum," she said.
The Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE) had translated EAEA's recent publication, 'Manifesto for Adult Learning in the 21st Century' into Slovenian and handed it to the Minister.
"We're very proud that we have managed to have statements from Slovenian learners in the Slovenian version of the Manifesto. It makes it very vivid," said Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, Head of promotion and information unit at the SIAE.
In the afternoon, the EAEA Board met with the Slovenian Learner's Forum, a very large organisation with 200,000 members from 150 clubs all around the country. Topics as engaging older learners, validation of non-formal learning and more generally groups of learners were discussed.
The meeting was a great opportunity to see how well the Slovenian learner's community is organised and structured.
Text and photos: Tania Berman