How to raise awareness on adult education towards the general public?

Slovenian Lifelong Learning Week

Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE)
Slovenia

The Slovenian Lifelong Learning Week (LLW) takes place annually since 1996. Until 2007 it was organised in September and/or October. From 2008 and onwards, it takes place in May and June (the official date being the third week of May). Throughout the country, educational institutions, as well as many others (public places, outdoor centres etcetera), take part in the LLL Week.

Our Lifelong Learning Week (LLW) has been paving the way for a profound understanding and implementation of the culture of lifelong learning by attracting public attention to more than 7,000 inspiring educational and promotional activities, providing information and guidance as well as other social and cultural events country-wide. The festival has grown into a movement, annually involving around 1,000 institutions, NGO:s, interest groups and other stakeholders. The National Coordinator is the Slovenian Institute for Adult Education, working in close cooperation with about 30 to 35 regional and thematic coordinators, mainly Adult Education Centres. They in turn cooperate with their own networks at the local level, addressing target groups that are locally prioritised. This is achieved through events, information stands, open information phone numbers, websites and many other activities. Various media outlets are important partners in this endeavour.

We achieved a much improved image of Adult Education and Lifelong Learning in general, with better informed citizen and more aware politicians. We also motivated citizens through learners' life stories. With strong cooperation and networking between different event providers, i.e. Educational Institutions and others, throughout the year, the LLW was a huge success. A key element of that success was creating a fair balance between top-down approach (national coordination) and bottom-up approach (regional/thematic coordinators).

The LLW had moral and financial support from two ministries, due to the fact that the LLW is part of the Adult Education Master Plan. We now have well established and growing partnerships across all levels of society.

On a final note, awards were given out for "outstanding learners". This was a great way to attract the media (as they tend to like stories focusing on people, not organisations) and it also creates great advocates for Adult Education (the learners themselves). Some short videos from 1999 can be found here: http://llw.acs.si/awards/winners/

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