Asian and European adult educators agree: Education is not a commercial good

From left to right: Tania Berman (EAEA), Janos Toth (Hungarian Folk High School Society), Rene Raya (ASPBAE) and Uwe Gartenschlaeger (DVV International)

The European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA) held a workshop at the Asia-Europe People's Forum (AEPF) in Milan (October 10-12). The Forum tackled major themes or People’s Visions, which represent AEPF’s hopes for citizens of Europe and Asia.
The Forum, titled Towards a Just and Inclusive Asia and Europe - Building States of Citizens for Citizens, focused on the following themes:
- Socially Just Trade and Investment
- Universal and Transformative Social Protection – Guaranteed Decent Work and Sustainable Livelihoods, Access to Essential Services and Social Security for All;
- Food Sovereignty and Sustainable Land and Natural Resource Management;
- Climate Justice, Sustainable Energy Production and Zero Waste; and
- Peace and Security
The speakers Uwe Gartenschlaeger (Vice-Director of DVV international and EAEA Vice-President), Rene Raya (Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Learning, ASPBAE) and Tania Berman (EAEA) presented a workshop on "Youth and Adult Education for Post-2015 Agenda: Ensuring Public Financing of Education". After presenting major trends in youth and adult education in Europe and in Asia, and discussing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and whether it is a threat to adult education in Europe, participants came up with several recommendations and asked the forum organisers to include them in the final recommendations.

Six recommendations presented

Having discussed the state of education and challenges in Europe and in Asia, the participants recommend to the AEPF Assembly:
- Consider education not as a private good, but as a public service that governments are responsible for;
- Having national strategies for the promotion of and participation in Youth and Adult Education, including financial commitments from the governments;
- Education is not a commercial good and, thus, has to be excluded from trade agreements (e.g., TTIP);
- Include universal functional literacy for all as a goal in the international development agenda;
- Consider education in a holistic way as defined by Delors’ four pillars of learning (learning to know; learning to do; learning to live together; and learning to be);
- Support the UN initiative of “global citizenship education”.
AEPF held its 10th biennial People's Forum on 10-12 October 2014 in Milan. EAEA is looking forward to the final recommendations of the 10th AEPF.

Source of text an photos: EAEA (Tania Berman)

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