As Volkshochschule - Mirella Avantaggiato, Educational Assistant - GERMANY
The Volkshochschule (an adult education centre) is a key provider of non-formal adult education in Germany. There are sixteen of them in the region of Saarland and they are funded by the local government. They employ 77 educators and they offer courses in languages, literacy and numeracy, and cultural, health and general education which are attended by more than one hundred-thousand learners. One of the biggest challenges of the Volkshochschule is to reach people without a degree. One of the most important organisation´s activities is a six-months training program for instructors and employees of the Volkshochschulen and other AE centres, which is organised in cooperation with the associations of the neighbouring regions, Rheinland-Pfalz and Hessen. The association is furthermore the examination centre for certificates by telc - Language Tests, Goethe Institut, Cambridge ESOL, delf, dele and Xpert. It also acts as a consultant on AE, and coordinates several projects, some of which are promoted by the Department of Education Saarland.
The Volkshochschulen is represented on different levels (government, parliament, National Committee for Further Education, federal level, public relations) by the regional association Verband der Volkshochschulen des Saarlandes e.V.
For more information: www.vhs-saar.de
DAEA is the national umbrella organization for have 33 member organisations active in the non-formal education field. DAEA was founded in 1941 and aims at improving the conditions and resources for its members, which represent a very broad variety of activities and interests. On one hand they are national adult education organizations with a widespread network of local branches all over the country or associations (women´s associations, cultural organizations, environmental organizations, cooperatives, local radio and TV, development organizations). On the other, they are schools which have almost 1 million participants each year: folk high schools, non-residential folk high schools, production schools, continuations schools and university extension.
Current priorities are democracy, active citizenship and lifelong learning. These themes are analised and studied thanks to educational materials, seminars and promoting voluntary work. DAEA also works with the purpose to build a bridge between non-formal and formal education, to foster flexible programs and to support the members´ activities in the recognition of prior learning processes. DAEA is financed by member fees, government grants and from a part of the surplus of the national enterprise of lotto.
NIACE - Hanako Beeson, Project Administrator - Alistair Lockhart Smith - ENGLAND
The National Foundation for Adult Education was set up in 1946 as a forum for consultation between the organisations providing adult education (Local Education Authorities, responsible bodies, voluntary organisations etc). Three years later, it merged with the British Institute for Adult Education (BIAE) to become the National Institute of Adult Education (NIAE) - an organisation with both individual and corporate members. NIAE changed its name in 1983 to the "National Institute of Adult Continuing Education" (NIACE).
Today, NIACE is a member-led charity organisation which promotes and campaigns for adult education in England and Wales. Its offices are based in Leicester, England, and Cardiff, Wales. It provides a consultancy and evaluation service, and carries out research about all aspects of adult education including basic skills, ESOL, family learning, mental health, equality and disability and the voluntary sector. NIACE also organises events, publishes books and resources and is involved in many European projects.
One of NIACE most important activities is a flagship campaign called Adult Learners´ Week: it has been held every year for the past 19 years and engages around 100,000 people every year.
Adult Education Society - Maja Maksimović, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Andragogy and Pedagogy, University of Belgrade - SERBIA
Adult Education Society (AES) is a non-governmental organization, founded in Belgrade in 2000, which is one of the main partners of Serbian Ministry for Education for the field of adult education and lifelong learning. AES gathers professionals interested in adult education in Serbia and plays a role of umbrella organization for different kinds of adult education providers.
The main tasks of AES are to strengthen adult education in the country, to support adult education institutions and programs, to promote lifelong learning, to implement projects and to contribute European integration and internationalization of the country through adult education. To achieve these goals, AES provides financial and technical support, professional guidance and counselling, education of multipliers, publish professional journal, books and other publication, organise activities and different events, popularise philosophy of lifelong learning, analyse policy and strategy of the development of adult education, advise policy makers etc.
Adult Education Society covers many fields of adult education and lifelong learning: basic education for adults, professional-vocational education, training and retraining, education for democratic citizenship, education of elderly people, modern methods and didactics of adult teaching and others.
At the moment, Adult Education Society is implementing the project ELiS, financed by the European Union aiming at promoting positive image of elderly and fight against the omnipresent discrimination.
SVEB - Swiss Federation for Adult Learning - Marija Bojanic, Project manager - SWITZERLAND
SVEB is the umbrella organization of adult education and lifelong learning in Switzerland. It is a non-governmental organisation representing 570 members such as private and state institutions, associations, representatives responsible for adult education on a cantonal level, in-house training departments and personnel managers. The main aims of SVEB are to promote adult learning for all and awareness for lifelong learning in society; to support of common interests of stakeholders in legislation and policy; to contribute to the development of an innovative, efficient Adult Learning System (frameworks, concepts, etc.) and to provide services and products to all stakeholders in the field of adult education.
It also extends its activity to individuals who are active in adult education (lifelong learning) in order to inspire them to accept lifelong learning as a way to promote personal and social development and to enable them to choose from the wide range of educational opportunities. Indeed SVEB helps people using adult learning facilities by continuously supporting new and innovative projects in the field and by ensuring a high quality standard of the learning opportunities.
Instead, thanks to the national and international project SVEB focuses especially on improving the learning conditions of low qualified and/or marginalized people. The main target groups in these activities are low skilled workers and adults that lack basic skills, migrants, women and elderly people.
More information about the activities of SVEB www.alice.ch/en
VOX - Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning - Tanja Aas, advisor, Basic Skills dept - NORWAY
Vox is the Norwegian Agency for Lifelong Learning is an agency of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The agency was founded in January 2001 and consists of about 90 employees. The main goal for Vox is to contribute to supporting active citizenship, improving employability and increasing participation in education.
Vox has several focus areas: basic skills training, recognition and validation of prior informal or non-formal learning in cooperation with the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training and immigrants´ integration.
On January 2011, a National Unit for Career Guidance was established at Vox which aims at coordinating the various regional partnerships that exist in the 19 counties in Norway as well as establishing new networks.
Instead, thanks to the cooperation of the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, Vox has the purpose to get a more uniform validation process of prior informal or non-formal learning.
Furthermore, Vox is in charge of curricular and pedagogical issues relating to teaching Norwegian and socio-cultural orientation to adult immigrants; monitors the implementation of such curricula and national tests; and provide professional development for teachers and facilitators in the field.
In the past few years, Vox has also become actively engaged in various international projects and partnerships, hosting the Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL) and serving as the Secretariat for the European Basic Skills Network (ESBN).
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OK Study Centre - Marion Fields, Coordinator - FINLAND
OK Study Centre is a nationwide adult education institution which is supported by an educational NGO called the Association for Educational Activity (Opintotoiminnan Keskusliittory) and monitored by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and the National Board of Education. OK Study Centre implements national and international projects, produces arts and cultural events and cooperates with other adult education centres both nationally and internationally. Furthermore, it aims at fostering active citizenship related actions and at supporting its member organisations´ activities in adult education by providing them with financial support and professional trainings.
The centre gathers 67 politically independent member organisations active the fields of health, education and culture, citizens´ advice, nature and the environment. Together with its member organisations, the centre runs over 5,000 courses and other training events and almost 2,000 peer study groups annually which reach more than 161,000 people.
The centre has around 30 employees and its central office is located in Helsinki, but it also has regional offices in Turku, Tampere, Seinäjoki, Joensuu and Oulu.
For more information: www.ok-opintokeskus.fi
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Dvv International Georgia - Dato Jikia, Project Coordinator of Adult and Community Education Centers - GEORGIA
The Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association (dvv international), operates nationally and internationally. It has been cooperating for 40 years with state, civil society and university partner organizations engaged in adult education in nearly all parts of the world. dvv international is currently active on a worldwide basis, cooperating with more than 200 partners in over 40 countries. Regional programmescover the individual projects in the various countries at continental level. They are overseen by regional offices which are responsible for regional planning, monitoring, and networking. The regional offices ensure the long-term presence and the professional solidarity and support that are requisite for processes which often prove to be complex and complicated. Members of project staff provide professional advisory services and specialized input, and take part in lobbying activities. The planning framework for projects is provided by dvv international headquartersin Bonn, which is responsible for monitoring the regional offices. Special regional initiatives directly foster experience exchange and networking between adult education specialists and organizations in the individual countries. Partners learn from specific experiences and developments in other countries. Successful models are adapted and transferred, and training capacity in one country is made available to other partner countries upon request. Regional networking acts as an impetus for ideas and creates synergy effects, particularly in the search for examples of good practice and in the in-service training sector.
More information on dvv international at http://www.iiz-dvv.de/index.php
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Kerigma, Innovation and Social Development- Susana Oliveria,New Opportunities Center Director/ International Projects Department coordinator - Portugal
Since its founding, the Kerygma has been stated in the overview of local development, education and training, promotion of enterprise organization and business through the design and implementation of various programs and the active participation and collaboration in partnerships and networks, sustained by a technical team highly trained and organized around different areas.
More information on Kerigma: http://kerigma.pt/
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New Opportunities Centre of Soure (Centro Novas Oportunidades do Agrupamento de Escolas de Soure - Inês Cerca, Professional RVC (Adult Counseling and tutor) - Portugal
Regarding adult education such a structure has established a New Opportunities Centre (Centro Novas Oportunidades) where recognition and certification of prior learning through specific methodologies based on an autobiographical approach is given. Such a certification can be of 4, 6, 9 or 12 years of school. When adults don't have enough experiences to be certified by a recognition process, the school also offers long training courses aimed at achieving either just a scholar certification or a scholar combined with a vocational certification.
The Agrupamento de Escolas de Soure provides learners with small training courses of foreign languages, ICT, and others. The school is an interesting example of lifelong learning system and it is part of the Portuguese national qualifications framework.
More information on the Agrupamento de Escolas de Soure: http://www.escolasdesoure.pt/web/
Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF)- Thor Rutgersson, Project manager - SWEDEN
Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) - Workers´ Educational Association is Sweden´s largest adult liberal education association. ABF is a politically independent organisation that shares the values of the labour movement. Democracy, diversity, justice and equality are the foundations of the ABF´s operations. Its goal is allowing people to study together and form an opinion on key social issues in order to empower them to influence their own situations, and the local and global developments. All citizens should be able to gain a liberal adult education where they live and work. This is why the ABF must be active throughout Sweden. The association aim is to give the most to those who have been least fortunate.
The ABF of Sweden has 90 years of experience in liberal adult education with different target groups and a wide range of topics: ABF embraces organisations for immigrants, the disabled and the elderly because working for an accessible society, in which everybody can participate, is a matter of justice and democracy. ABF offers trade union studies because understanding the conditions at your workplace is essential to be able to make changes. ABF embraces culture as it inspires us and lets us think along new, creative lines, which helps us to interpret the surrounding world and ourselves in new ways. ABF embraces health issues because good health should not be dependent on one´s social class and because someone who does not feel well does not have the strength to make his voice heard. Furthermore, ABF focuses on international studies and information campaigns on conditions in other countries.
They can also provide educational assistance by arranging study circle leader/facilitator training, project training courses and lectures. In addition, they offer support in planning, organising and translating necessary materials.
For more information http://www.folkbildning.se/Folkbildning/Oversattningar/
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Ligue de l´enseignement des Côtes d‘Armor - Morgane Creisméas, Delegate - France
The Ligue de l´enseignement gathers more than 30,000 associations in 102 departmental and 22 regional federations in France. They have the common aim of training responsible citizens who will fulfill their duties, make full use of their rights and be active in society reinforcing its democratic, humanist and social character. These associations also work collectively against all inequalities in order to discuss and build a fairer and more independent society.
Côtes d‘Armor is a department in the north of Brittany, in north western France.
For more information on La ligue de l´insegnement visithttp://www.ligue-enseignement.be/default.asp?V_SITE_ID=2
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Färnebo folkhögskola - Caroline Andersson, Coordinator - Sweden
The Glocal Folk High School (Glokala Folkhögskolan) - August Nilsson, Pedagogue & Project manager - Sweden (http://www.glokala.se)
Färnebo folk high school is the solidarity movement´s folk high-school. The school has different types of courses; travellers courses, general course, intern Courses and a Climate issues and Film Course.
The school is connected to 15 different organisations and together they work for international justice, sustainable development, gender equality and human rights.
Färnebo folk high school is located in Österfärnebo in the middle of Sweden, with a branch located in Gothenburg at the West coast in the southern part of the country.