ARALE conference

The ARALE Conference took place in Brussels on 2nd and 3rd of October 2013.

Pooling our campaigning experiences

56 reports from 19 different European countries – that is how far the ARALE project already was before starting the conference. Project coordinator Tania Berman reported on the results of the survey among EAEA members - adult education institutions and organizations.

“The 56 submissions were way beyond our expectations, and we are very grateful to all of you. A number of the cases in the submissions will be presented at this conference. As you will realize, they are very different. This makes them difficult to compare,” said Tania Berman.

She also noted that most submissions were about successful campaigns. “You may learn a lot from your failures, but maybe there is an element of embarrassment in reporting on this,” she said.

Videos and hotlines

About half the submissions is about special target groups. In this category the differences are quite obvious. Tania Berman listed the variety of target groups:

  • Seniors
  • Young adults
  • Families
  • Dyslectic persons
  • Roma adults
  • Citizens with literacy problems or other lack of basic skills

“We see very different types of campaign groups. Concerning the methods used, there are some common elements in the literacy campaigns: video messages, hotline, providing information on where to learn and role models,” Tania Berman explained.

Campaigning Weeks

Many EAEA members are involved in similar types of campaigning weeks with different names:

Adult Learner’s Week, Lifelong Learning Week or Adult Learning Festival. This type of campaigns submissions were received from Croatia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Norway and Denmark.

“The common concept is a lot of events in a short timeframe on a country-wide scale,” Tania Berman told the conference.

She also found common patterns in the way of funding, spreading information and providing guidance and organisation of opening ceremonies and award ceremonies.

“It seems that a way to make these weeks successful is to involve many organizations, like adult education institutions, schools, cultural institutions, public libraries, employment service, public local authorities. Also important is strong national promotional campaigns combined with a big degree of freedom left to the local organizers,” she said.

A long time effort

In her presentation of the submissions on campaigns directed at policy makers, Tania Berman took up a number of points that were repeated and widely discussed later during the conference, for example the importance of presenting concrete examples, facts, documentation.

From the submissions she passed on the advice that adult education spokespersons must combine formal and informal contacts with policy makers, and they must be prepared to define and write concrete law proposals.

“Advocacy is a long time effort,” she said.

Pooling and analysing

Finally Tania Berman explained what will happen after the conference. Based on the submissions and the contributions from the presentations and debates at the conferences the project group will analyze the experiences and inputs in the final report that hopefully will become a useful tool for adult education organizers in Europe.