Pirkko is president of the Finnish Adult Education Association since 2011, a member of the Executive board since 2007, also a member of the board of the Finnish Association of Adult Education Centres. Pirkko has a long experience of adult education in vocational and higher education institutions as a teacher, manager and principal. After having stepped out of the vocational institutions to the world of liberal adult education Pirkko´s focus has been on strengthening the civic society through non- and informal education, home economics and multicultural work. The work for civic society continues in the present work as director in the Finnish Federation of Settlements. FFS is an NGO, which mainly works in the field of the liberal adult education and social work.
The ongoing PhD thesis in social gerontology gives an opportunity to look into the importance of learning for the quality of life among the elderly.
1) To prevent social exclusion, encourage active citizenship and strengthening social cohesion is near my heart. Adult education and civic society have strong ties. Today it is even more important to strengthen those ties for those who are not able to stand up for themselves, or need educational help to reach the goal of active citizenship, like immigrants.
2) As age expectancy increase in Europe and we are goining through demographic changes this creates a significant challenge also for adult education. The whole society benefits when lifelong learning comes true in promoting learning possibilities for the elderly to support their well being and quality of life. To promote this the exchange of expertise, experience and information between the EAEA members is really needed.
3) I think it is important that all members in EAEA are treated equally. EU is an important partner for EAEA but we should keep in mind that there are also members which are not in the EU.
4) I want to advocate to secure public economical resources when improving the quality of adult learning opportunities.