The EAEA fully supports the four global goals identified by ICAE. These relate to poverty and growing economic and cultural inequality; the right to education and learning of migrant women and men; the priority of adult education as part of EFA; and the need for policy and legislation to ensure the right to learn for all. These goals are as relevant to Europe as they are for the rest of the world. In Europe we have also had the opportunity to shape the priorities through the Lisbon goals and the Action Plan for Adult Learning, which are seen as significant to European countries outside the EU in addition to the Member States.
Embedded in the need to redefine adult learning and its mission, the EAEA believes that there are some issues that need to be highlighted and acknowledged for their importance and contribution to the mission for adult education on the global level:
The same applies to education that helps people to gain an awareness of politi cal changes, to understand them better and to take an active role in political de velopments in local and global areas. Significant social, political and economic crisis around the world and in Europe can leave people feeling powerless and uninformed; adult education and learning could re-new its role for/within the new political context;
Two equally important components of learning active citizenship could be sup ported in this way – a structural/political one and a cultural/personal one.
ICT can provide new opportunities for adult learning and efforts should be made to develop comprehensive computer literacy courses and access to the intemet for all adult groups
Adult Education and Learning in Europe and the Global World
Europe is the region with many positive traditions in adult education and learning,
– a region that set the trends, generates ideas and manages to establish relatively developed adult education systems. As such, it has a special responsibility in the global discussion on adult education and learning and for developing global partnerships and cooperation. Europe is very heterogeneous in terms of cultural diversity, economic development, social cohesion and democratic developments and complex in it subregional relationships and cooperation. Thus it has some comparable aspects with other regions, which enables constructive exchange and sharing during the preparatory process and after CONFINTEA VI. Europe as region has experiences to share, and the possibility to discuss many global and particular adult education phenomena with problem-solving potential and an evidence based-approach. At the same time, EAEA is concerned about the growing division of the European AE into an “EU – adult education” with a great variety for development and funding, and a “Non-EU adult education.”
The pace of change is quickening in the economic, social and cultural environ ments throughout the world. Especially in Europe, the EAEA envisages that adult education and learning can contribute to enabling individuals, communities, economies and societies to face these challenges and the various problems and opporhmities of contemporary societies. The European region‘s experience pro vides an opportunity for reflection on the common global problems. including the areas defined by ICAE as priorities for CONFINTEA VI. European experiences could also help to gain a deeper insight and understanding of adult education and learning; to offer best practice examples; and to contribute to the discussion on the following aspects:
The decade between two CONFINTEA in Europe has seen important changes of paradigms and some new views on adult learning and education, moving from the enthusiastic, comprehensive, all-encompassing approach of CONFINTEA V to a more sharpened, focused and professionalized approach. It has become clear that moving from rhetoric to practice and achieving the ambitious goals attributed to adult education, requires commitments at all levels and very concrete steps and action plans in order to develop:
This paper from the EAEA includes in our view, the European “lessons learned” for CONFINTEA VI, that could be shared with the others during the preparatory proc ess, and should also be considered for the outcomes and in the final documents.
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