Since we last published a Newsletter (February 3), the European Adult Education InfoNet met for a Milestone Conference in Lisboa, Portugal. The conference took stock of the activities of InfoNet, not only during the preceding year, but since the beginning 10 years ago.
Since the end of the 1990s, participation in transnational projects as part of EU funding programmes has become an indispensable element of adult education. This kind of project work creates new research results and pedagogical findings, shapes innovative educational concepts and learning products, and organises exchanges of information and the mobility of teachers and learners. By this means, cross-border cooperation plays a role in improving the quality of education.
“I wish I came here sooner”, says 75-year-old Marko, who recently discovered the benefits of a library for the first time. Now he is no longer merely a retired merchant sitting at home and waiting for something to happen. He uses the library for reading papers, for computer courses and for meeting other people of his own age.
While the OECD statistics in Education at a Glance describe Ireland as having a promising outlook in that we invest more in education per student than most OECD countries, and that 93% of young people are expected to graduate from upper secondary education in their lifetimes we still have the fifth highest rate of unemployment among the OECD countries. The data show that the lower the levels of educational attainment the higher the risk there is of being unemployed.
“Money spent on awareness is much cheaper and less painful than cure.” This is philosophy behind campaigns on sexual health promotion in Malta. “We want to transmit a healthy message across the community to promote healthy lifestyle and sexual health. We use various media…” says The Director of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Dr Charmaine. She describes the sexual health campaign in this interview.
The online portal for adult education that the European Commission initiated in 2014 under the name "EPALE" (Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe, http://ec.europa.eu/epale/) became accessible in several countries at the end of last year. It is planned to gradually set up this kind of national platform in each country of the European Union. To do so, the adult education department, which has been assigned to the Directorate General for Employment since the restructuring under Juncker, has provided a total of 8.3 million euros throughout Europe according to this year's annual plan. On 15 April 2015 EPALE is to be officially launched in Brussels.
Representatives of international, European and national umbrella associations, along with other experts, have met in Lisbon to instigate the development of a new online magazine on adult education. The new magazine is mainly designed to issue high-quality articles, and is to be aimed at European and international specialists. The portal is to be dedicated to a certain topic every quarter, after which a corresponding magazine-like dossier with these articles and other information will be published.
"Educational investments and returns throughout life" was the topic of a forum that took place in Bonn in October 2014, attended by top-class individuals. In a broader sense, this event is embedded in the context of discussions on the reform of the education system in the Federal Republic of Germany, which has been part of the agenda since the mid-1990s and which has been in the public eye with great intensity since the turn of the millennium. The impulse came from the results of international comparative studies and large scale assessments (TIMS, PISA, PIACC), which exposed the weaknesses and performance gaps in the German education system. The results of the first PISA study (2001) shocked the German public.
This issue of InfoNet Newsletter announces the recently published issue of the LLinE web magazine about Blended Learning. The issue carries articles on good blended learning practices and initiatives of European educators. Other articles deal with research about blended learning.
To challenge something means to doubt it just as well as to dare it. "Challenging the European Area of Lifelong Learning" is the title of a Collection of articles from 37 authors, representing sort of an academic community in the field of european adult education, edited by Maria N. Gravani and George K. Zarifis. The book bases on the „Memorandum of Lifelong Learning“, therefore it is organised into ﬁve parts that quasi trail the structure of the Memorandum. These five aspects represents also „the core issues that Europe faces today in relation to the idea of making a ‘European Area of Lifelong Learning’ a reality“, so the editors voice.