Presidential encouragement regarding the work programme of 2006
The EAEA Board has processed the latest recommendations regarding the GA´05 in order to organise the workload of 2006 into a system.
Hereby I would like to briefly inform our members on the most important elements of the Board's lively discussions. The next Board meeting is going to take place in Berlin in May , where there is also going to be a discussion with the Lline Journal´s Editorial Board on the further co-operation between the EAEA and the Journal.
Successful GA in Lillehammer
The first Board meeting agreed with the participants of the GA in Lillehammer that it was a well-organised and successful assembly. Besides the commonly achieved results of 2005, the excellent organisational work done by the Norwegian host, the Grundtvig Award and the processing of the valuing learning theme, the new style elements and the partly renewed meeting all contributed to the good atmosphere as well. These standards will be hard to keep up at the 2006 General Assembly 19-22 October in Aviles, Spain, at which the new position-holders will be elected.
Inter generation initiative
The Board members accepted the president´s proposal to launch two inter generation initiatives. We suggest every EAEA member organisation secure the presence of a colleague of under 35 at the 2006 GA, so we can initiate the participation and the role of the younger generation in the EAEA. The Board wishes to support partly the initiative by the contribution of the Bob Schouten Foundation. The other initiative concerns the foundation of the EAEA Senior Club out of all the EAEA members and previous position holders who are either now retired or preparing to do so, but wish to remain interested, keep their vitality and contribution to the EAEA network.
2006 Grundtvig Award Fighting Poverty through Learning
The Board has also agreed on the subject of the 2006 Grundtvig Award, which is going to invite applications in the subject of the role of adult learning in fighting poverty. All this information will soon be available on the website and in the newsletter.
Organisational development for sustainability and prosperity
One of the tightly scheduled tasks is to systematically carry on with the organisational development programme in 2006, introduced at the Norwich and Lillehammer meetings. This can be divided into two parts; on the one hand a comprehensive organisational development that refers to the ability to adjust to the rapidly changing world and the EAEA´s sustainable development; and on the other hand to the development of the management of running organisational life. The Board has also discussed an external analysis of the EAEA´s organisational position and concluded that the increased number of tasks, the developing link offices and the newly accepted Constitution in fact do necessitate the development of the management
Co-operation development at global, European and national levels
Another important piece of the workload for 2006 is the development of international activities and co-operation. The participants of the Norwegian assembly might have noticed that there were other foreign guests, such as the key leaders of ASPBAE besides the ICAE´s president and Secretary General. A series of work discussions has been started, which actually means the planning of and co-operation in the preparatory works of the 6th CONFINTEA adult education world conference in 2009.
The first stop of this three-year long process will be the ICAE general assembly in Kenya, 2007, which will coincide with the Social World Forum Nairobi. The EAEA-CAEA co-operation that started at the GA in Metz 2004 could also take a step forward in 2006. We are also organising an international adult education conference and study trip to Beijing and China with the involvement of various partners, such as the Chinese Adult Education Association. We are expecting at least 50 participants from Europe.
Communication on Adult Learning
All the above is undoubtedly just introductory though, since the most significant activity of the year for the EAEA is the Communication on Adult Learning to be published in the second half of the year by the Commission. Why is the Communication so significant? Because of the realisation and recognition of the growing significance of adult learning in a widening circle of decision-makers. It is high time, we could say, since we, along with many others, thought that this has been our point since the Memorandum and the Lisbon Strategy. Despite the development, we know that it has not been realised in the exact way it was meant to be. When talking about LLL, they often only meant labour market training and higher education. Every worthwhile official speech was supposed to mention the importance of non-formal adult learning and active citizenship learning of course. By 2005-06, the theory that not taking our theories seriously enough in practice, i.e. that all forms of learning are equally important and that we have to keep searching for new ways of increasing participation, will result in that stagnation and getting stuck in LLL will be overwhelming. The consequences will be visible in the failure of the Lisbon Process, the deficiency of democracy and economical difficulties.
Now we are given a new opportunity for the role, emancipation and development of the fourth pillar of lifelong learning (school education, university, vocational training and adult education) to get stronger. At least, a lot of it can be up to us. Over the last few years, and especially since the Memorandum in 2000 and later the Concrete Objective work programme, which has been called ´Education and Training 2010´ since 2004, the EAEA has been stressing the importance of policy advocacy and the influence in educational and training policy of the Commission. This long and hardly measurable effort has by now born fruit in that the EAEA can really become the organisation to realise important tenders. This includes the Adult education trends and issues in Europe Restricted tender no. EAC/43/05, which the EAEA is coordinating. While the EAEA is, together with the DIE, a partner in another tender titled ´Study on adult education providers´ run by NIACE. We are proud to say that we have won the tender mentioned above. Now is the time to prove ourselves though, since a well-known aim of the ‘Adult education trends and issues in Europe´ tender is to create a study that can serve as the foundation for the Communication on Adult Learning. There is a lot at stake, since if we manage to create a good study on non-vocational adult education based on the best script, we can consequently give life to a better Communication, and that would be something everybody could benefit from. Plus, the EAEA could take upon more and more important tasks of adult education in partnership with the Commission. In order to achieve this, we will need everyone´s dedicated and active contribution and achievements.
As can be seen from this brief introduction, 2006 is already rich in stakes, excitement and hopefully, so will be in achievements. We not only wish to inform you as thoroughly as possible on the ongoing work of the tender, but also provide you with the opportunity to contribute.
János Sz. Tóth