News – Policy

UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning call

GNLC GuideBelgrade, December 2015. The emphasis of Adult Learning Festival in Serbia, since 2014 is on supporting learning in communities and their networking into the learning city. This original bottom-up concept is complementary with UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities top-to-bottom concept. UNESCO initiative supports the practice of lifelong learning by promoting policy dialogue and peer learning among member cities. This Network forges links, fosters partnerships, provides capacity development, and develops tools and instruments to encourage and recognize progress achieved in realizing the vision of lifelong learning. Adult Learning Festival in Serbia, as the original model was presented at the 2nd International Conference on Learning Cities, held in Mexico City in October this year. A month later director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), Arne Karlsen, sent invitation letter to the mayor of Belgrade, Siniša Mali, for Belgrade to join the Global Network of Learning Cities. The efforts of the Adult Education Society in lifelong learning promotion, as well as cooperation with UIL are particularly emphasized in the letter. We sincerely hope that the city government will respond positively to this invitation and that City of Belgrade will, in this prestigious company, through exchanges with other cities, begin to improve conditions that lifelong learning give its full contribution to the development of Belgrade and the quality of life of its inhabitants.

Preperation the national GRALE Progress Report

graleiiBelgrade, August 2015. The Adult Education Society provided strong technical and expert support, during July and August to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development in production of the national GRALE Progress Report. This triennial report will provide data for the third Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE III). The purpose of GRALE III is to review the progress achieved in implementing the Belém Framework for Action (2009). This kind of reporting is significant for the field of adult education and learning on the national level because systematized data will provide a comprehensive overview that is important for the country. The cooperation between the Adult Education Society and the Ministry influenced the comprehensive character of the provided data from different perspectives. In conclusion, GRALE III will be one more significant document for the process of reforms in the area of education in Serbia.

AES Contributed to Public Hearing on the Draft of the National Strategy for Creating an Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development

jrpBelgrade, July 2015. The Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, in cooperation with The Office for cooperation with civil society on 29th of July in Belgrade, in the Deputies’ Club, organized a public hearing on the Draft National Strategy for creating an enabling environment for civil society development in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2015-2019, which was attended by over a hundred representatives of civil society organization and state institutions. After the introductory part of the public debate, the consultants hired to develop the Strategy, presented the section of the Strategy and the measures and activities envisaged in the accompanying Action Plan, and open a dialogue with the present representatives of civil society organizations and institutions of state administration. During several hours of dynamic discussion, participants addressed a number of useful comments, criticisms and suggestions, both within individual chapters and sectoral policies, and in terms of the process of creating the Strategy and its potential for further development of civil society in Serbia. The representative of the Adult Education Society presented the current activities of the organization that coincide with most of the activities envisaged by the Action Plan in the section “Non-formal education” and asked what concrete measures of support the Republic of Serbia will provide to the civil sector which implements part of the activities in the field of responsibilities of the institutions of the Republic, as envisage by this Strategy.

Adult Education Society participated in discussion regarding NQF in Serbia

noksBelgrade, June 2015. Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence with Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development organized the conference as part of the EU funded project “Towards Employability of Knowledge – Development of NQF in Serbia as a Common Language between Education and Labour (NQFS)”. The event had been organized on June 26th, 2015 in two parts. The conference was opened with short exposures of Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development Srđan Verbić, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Michael Davenport and the adviser of the Minister of Commerce Dušan Korunoski. In the continuation of the conference the discussion with the audience was open. One of the conclusions was related to expectation of Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development that NGO sector will take care over continuous education in Serbia. The second part of the conference was intended to views and expectations of National Employment Service, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, vocational schools and other key stockholders. The main conclusion of conference was willingness of the every stakeholder to help process of development and adoption of the high quality NQF in shortest possible time frame.

Support to participation of Serbian delegation in WEF 2015

wef2015Incheon, May 2015. Republic of Serbia delegation, consisting of Minister for Education, Science and technological Development, Mr Srđan Verbić, and the Director of the Group for Adult Education, Ms Mirjana Milanović, took active participation in the World Education Forum 2015, organized in Incheon (Korea) in the period 19.-22.5.2015. The World Education Forum 2015 is the milestone in Education for All (EFA) movement to guarantee the right to education for all. The movement started in the World Conference on EFA held in Jomtien (Thailand) in 1990, and led by UNESCO with efforts from member state governments, international organizations, and civil societies. Thanks to these efforts, oriented toward basic education with goals including early childhood and primary education, literacy, and vocational education, many countries were able to achieve remarkable progress in education including expanding universal access, pursuing gender equality, and enhancing literacy. The World Education Forum in Dakar (Senegal) in 2000 reviewed the EFA progress and adjusted the six EFA goals in the Dakar Framework for Action, defined for the period until 2015. A few months later some of the six EFA goals were integrated into the Millennium Development Goals introduced at UN Millennium Summit in New York, which presented guidance and framework for global development, but also for development at the national level, in the last 15 years. Based upon the EFA progress made thus far, the World Education Forum 2015 proposed a more developed goal for education that reflects the current global community, including not only expanding access to education but also new agendas such as enhancing educational quality and global citizenship education. These new educational agendas will become a part of the future global education agenda in connection with the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals. The event, opened by Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki Mun, was attended more than 130 ministries from 150 countries. Contribution of Serbian delegation was significant, because of speech of Serbian minister Mr Srđan Verbić on plenum and on introductory session of one working groups. The forum was finished successfully by adoption of Incheons’ declaration. The aims of the declaration will be integrated into the document „Post 2015 Agenda of sustainable development“ on UN September Summit as guidelines for global development efforts up to 2030. Adult Education Society in partnership with DVV International and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning provided logistical, organizational and financial support for participation of Serbian delegation on WEF 2015.

The reaction on the regional initiative for participation in PIAAC study

PIAAC_reactionSEE region, April 2015. The regional initiative of DVV SEE Network for join PIAAC study was initiated in the end of August last year on the meeting with 11 countries in Zagreb where sent a powerful message about regional need for relevant statistical data in adult education, which can be basis for the policy making and evidence based reforms. The subsequent activities in the region showed that research costs are an insurmountable obstacle for join the study for the most of the countries from SEE region, even with political support. EU institutions react on this initiative and DG Education and Culture made recommendation to DG NEAR to financially support participation of 6 counties of SEE Region (namely: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) in OECD surveys (PIAAC, PISA and TALIS). With anticipation and new hope, we expect next decisions.

Support to Participation of Serbia in Open Method of Coordination

Podrska_OMKBelgrade, December 2014. In April 2014 European Commission invited Serbian Government to nominate its representatives for Technical Working Groups (TGW), under the Education and Training 2020 strategic framework, to actively participate in the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) mechanism. TWG will allow representatives of Serbia to participate in exchange of best European praxis and educational policies, and also to present results of strategic and reform processes in Serbia. In July 2014 Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of Government of Serbia approached Adult Education Society with request for support for national representatives in the TWG on adult education in OMC. Decision was made to provide support, on account of other activities, having in mind that EU priority subjects are of crucial importance for further reform processes in education in Serbia, presented in National Strategy on Education. In this respect financial support is provided for participation of one participant of Adult Education TWG on two meetings organized by European Commission in the second half of the year.

Participation in public consultations regarding the development of the Employment and Social Reform Program (ESRP)

Belgrade, November 2014. Adult Education Society has actively participated in the development of the Employment and Social Reform Program (ESRP) by participating in public consultations on the invitation of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, the Team for Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction and the Office for cooperation with Civil Society. By submitting comments on the draft of the measures of the second part of the Employment and Social Reform Program, Adult Education Society underlined the importance of adult education in the entire educational system of Serbia, especially in the areas of employment and quality of adult education. Participation in the development of this document represents a significant contribution and support to Serbia’s progress within the European integration since the ESRP is designed as the main mechanism for dialogue on priorities in the areas of social policy and employment, and it has been structured on the model of strategy Europe 2020 which Member States are already applying.

Meeting at the Ministry on the International Day of Older Persons

grupna 2Belgrade, October 2014. On the first of October, the International Day of Older Persons, representatives of Adult Education Society were invited to participate in a discussion with the Deputy Minister of Labour, employment, veteran and social issues. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Red Cross, volunteers, beneficiaries of homes for the elderly, the Gerontological Society of Serbia and NGOs. A representative of the Association for Adult Education specifically mentioned the importance of lifelong learning for older population, especially in the areas of training for older workers, an international assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC), prevention of pathological aging as well as promotion of education and learning. The emphasis was particularly on successful projects which tend to produce positive results for many years, and who need continuous support from decision-makers, such as the University of the Third Age, the promotion of active aging. During the meeting many important issues have been opened, such as health, social care and intergenerational collaboration. Education has been identified in almost every area as priority and important activity. This meeting was particularly important, because Deputy Minister expressed full support for the promotion of adult education especially for the population of senior citizens, in the field of innovative social services based on intergenerational cooperation.

Guidelines for the inclusion of civil society in the regulation adoption process

smerniceBelgrade, September 2014. Representatives of Adult Education Society have attended a press conference on September 22nd 2014, organized for the occasion of presentation of “Guidelines for the inclusion of civil society in the regulation adoption process.” To questions of journalists and representatives of civil society organizations, have been responding the representatives of the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Ministry of construction, transportation and infrastructure, the negotiating team for the negotiations on the accession of Serbia to the European Union, the European Union Delegation of the Republic of Serbia and the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy. They pointed out that one of the main purposes of this document, is a strategic and systematic connection of public administration and civil society, and the development of the new practices in work and public administration and civil society. This set of guidelines was adopted at the time of manufacturing another, in this area, a very important document, which is the framework of national strategy to boost the work of civil society, for the next five years. What are the civil society representatives highlighted as crucial is finding ways to make these policies come into practice and possible difficulties in their implementation, because the possible disadvantages can only be visible in practice. They were consistent about one thing, and that is that this document is a step process Serbian European Integration.

Region to meet the third round PIAAC survey

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAZagreb, August 2014. During the August of the current year, the OECD and the Croatian National Centre for External Evaluation of Education (NCEEE) have been preparing a presentation of the third round of the OECD’s International Research assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) for the key partner organizations and Croatian institutions. Adult Education Society (AES) has initiated the expansion of the set by including representatives of countries in the region and potential donors to participate, to continuation for a day and substantial suiting to the expanded group of participants. And so, with the partnership of the NCEEE and of the AES, during the period from 28th to 29th of August 2014 at the Panorama Hotel, a regional two-day seminar has been organized, which included more than 40 representatives of 11 countries in the region. On the first day of the conference representatives of the OECD presented the importance of research for the development of economy, improvement of social cohesion and quality of life of adults, and then the process of research conducting. Representatives of Greece and Slovenia, which currently participate in the second round of the survey, have shared their precious experience. During the second day together we have explored the possibilities for the countries in region to engage in a third round of research, as well as some regional activities which would support and foster national activities towards joining. Participants first made ​​an overview of the prerequisites and key challenges for inclusion in the study, then a review of the existing resources, the main partners and previous relevant experiences (CONFINTEA processes, national studies, PISA, etc.). Representatives of the OECD and ETF actively participated in the creation of these views, gave their suggestions and additional information. A representative of the ETF has introduced us with the actual measures of support that this organization offers to regional countries in the process of joining the PIAAC study, followed by presentation of significant additional measures of support within the activities of DVV International in the region, the processes which are relevant to this study or even have a starting point in it. A key segment of the second day was devoted to creating the list of arguments, as well as a list of possible, national and joint-regional activities, to include the countries of the region in this important research. The meeting was concluded by presenting the National Centre for External Evaluation of Education and a visit to the Centre, where, during the cocktails, experiences and professional materials have been exchanged.

Sending Suggestions to the Second National Report on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction in the Republic of Serbia for the Period 2011-2014 (draft)

Belgrade, July 2014. Project managers of Adult Education Society have responded to the call to Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia and Minister of State Administration and Local Self-Government, to dr Kori Udovički by sending suggestions to the draft version of the Second National Report on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction in the Republic of Serbia for the period 2011-2014. By doing this, the Adult Education Society took part in the important process of development and improvement of policies, institutional framework and methodology for monitoring social inclusion of individuals and social groups in Serbia during the period of joining to the European Union. The report was included in the review of the legal and policy framework in the relevant area of ​​analysis of the current situation, a review of implemented policies and programs, conclusions and main courses of action for the future. Adult education has been represented in the draft report, but not enough. The suggestions of the Adult Education Society pointed out the importance of adult education for social inclusion and poverty reduction. Special attention was directed to the need for the participation of Serbia in the third round of PIAAC research, support from the state and all social partners to promote adult education, as well as the newly introduced functional adult education in the educational system in Serbia.

Public Hearing on the Law Draft on Amendments and Supplements to the Law on Higher Education

Belgrade, July 2014. In the Palace of Serbia, on July 8th, Nikola Koruga, the project manager at the Adult Education Society, participated in the public hearing on the law draft on amendments and supplements to the Law on Higher Education, which was organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, in cooperation with the Office for Cooperation with civil society and the negotiating team for the negotiations guidance for the accession of Serbia to the European Union. During the discussion it was emphasized that only those parts of the Law on Higher Education, which can be implemented in the short term, were amended and changed. State Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Development pointed out that many problems can’t be solved without a complete change of the Law on Higher Education, which is planned for next year. Participation in public debate and analysis of the amendments to the Law on Higher Education clearly highlighted the need for adjusting the needs of adults in higher education, but that the broader measure of the supplement and amendment of the current law are necessary for that. In the future, Adult Education Society will follow, with special attention the reform of higher education, but also provide support to the Ministry for the integration of high quality and affordable adult education in the overall education system.

The role of civil society in the process of EU accession talks

Belgrade, March 2014. Representatives of Adult Education Society attended a training for civil society organisations, named “Introduction to the process of negotiations of accession to the European Union and role of civil society – negotiating chapters 25 (science and research) and 26 (education and culture)”, on March 5th in Palace of Serbia. After the introductory remarks of representatives of government bodies which cooperate with the civil society, as well as representatives of ministries, the present ones had the opportunity to get to know the content of negotiating chapters 25 and 26, in other words key legal framework of European Union for mentioned areas, and also the mechanisms of their formulation and monitoring of implementation. Significant contribution in process of negotiation with the European Union, during a process of joining, was given by former member of negotiating team of Croatia in charged for chapters 25 and 26. Process of joining to the European Union has a special significance for Adult Education Society, as well for the contribution which has been made so far in the field of adult education, so this training was the key for further steps and tendencies to develop a high-quality and stable system of adult education in Serbia.

Public discussion regarding to draft of the document Program and Methodology of Career Guidance and Counseling for Young

careersBelgrade, February 2014. Representatives of Adult Education Society participated in public discussion which referred to creating a draft of a document, named Program and Methodology of Career Guidance and Counseling for young, on february 25th at the Rektorat of Belgrade University. The meeting was organized to consider drafts of two documents developed within the Tempus project Development of Career Guidance Aimed at Improving Higher Education in Serbia. Drafts of documents has developed a team of experts from Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, University of Belgrade, University of Novi Sad, University of Nis, University of Kragujevac, University Singidunum and Belgrade Open School, which was the coordinator of development process. The support for domestic experts has been given from University in Silesia, University in Padova and Svonsi University. This was one of many public discussions regarding to mentioned documents in which experts for career guidance and counseling have participated, as well as all stakeholders such as representatives of line ministries, economy, universities, NGO sector etc. Representatives of Adult Education Society have emphasized the importance of continuous improving in order to provide quality of career guidance and counseling, as well as providing possibilities for acknowledging former learning and experience.

Joining forces for Action in Adult Learning and Education

slika regionalna 3Vilnius, December 2013. On the invitation of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and with endorsement of the National Commissions for cooperation with UNESCO, the delegates from the South Eastern Europe countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia) had taken an active part in the conference “Equipping adults for the 21st century – Joining forces for action on skills and competences” devoted to adult learning and education. The conference was organized in cooperation of UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and the European Commission – Directorate General for Education and Culture. The conference was hosted by the Lithuania during its presidency of the Council of the European Union 2013. The event took place in Vilnius from 9th to 10th December 2013 year. Participation of delegates from South-East Europe was supported by dvv international. Over 200 experts in the field of adult learning and education from the North America and Europe took an active part in the conference which was aimed at assessing progress in the implementation of the Renewed European Agenda for Adult Education and Belém Framework for Action, in light of the recently published results of the OECD Programme for the International assessment of adult competencies [PIAAC]. The experts made agreement and adopted further action points referring on issues of literacy, participation, cooperation and coordination and financing adult education in the light of equality, quality and accessibility of education. The Regional Coordinator of CONFINTEA VI in action Ph.D. Katarina Popovic presented the activities which have been carried out under the monitoring of the implementation of Belem Framework for Action in the South East Europe region. She pointed out that CONFINTEA VI and the Belém framework for action were not only a meeting or document to region of Southeast Europe but rather process and advocacy tool. In the light of successfully submitted National progress reports, Katarina Popovic presented the second Regional report on adult learning and education in South Eastern Europe. The report was presented as an example of good practice on how the regional countries can cooperate and thus achieve more effective results in the implementation of the recommendations defined in the Belém in 2009.

The SEE Regional Meeting CONFINTEA VI

grupnabledBled, July 2013. The SEE Regional Meeting CONFINTEA VI in action was held from 7th to 9th July 2013, in Bled, Slovenia. The event was organized by Adult Education Society and Slovenian Institute for Adult Education with support of dvv international. The meeting attended by 13 experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia who are representatives of ministries’ of education, universities, institutes for adult education, governmental agencies and NGO sector. The aims of this event were: presentation of national progress reports according to monitoring and implementation CONFINTEA VI strategy; preparation for participation in the Regional Preparatory Conference UNESCO for Europe, North America and Israel which will be organized in December 2013; and planning further regional activities. The major part of the meeting was devoted to formulation of guidance for creation The Regional Mid-Term Report which will be presented on UNESCO Conference in Vilnius.

Serbia had got the first Law on the Adult Education

Belgrade, June 2013. The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia at the Fifth Extraordinary Session, which was held on 25th June 2013, approved Law about Adult Education. This is first time in Serbia that law regulates field of adult education in a light of lifelong learning and non-formal education. This law is going to open opportunity for different pathways of learning which provide access to qualifications and support individuals’ lifelong learning goals. The law is connected with policies for poverty reduction, economic development and other relevant national and European policies. Next step for institutions and organizations which are working in the field of adult education is effective and efficient implementation of the law.

Participation in the public reading of the “Strategy for Educational Reform in Serbia until 2020”

javnocitanjeBelgrade, April 2013. Representatives of Adult Education Society participated in the first public reading of the “Strategy for Educational Reform in Serbia until 2020”. The meeting was held on 18th April in Belgrade and organized by Civic Initiatives with support of the Balkan Trust for Democracy. Discussion opened by Mrs. Radmila Radić Dudić from Civic Initiatives. She has called all actors, who are involved in educational process, to participate and openly articulate their demands in regard to reform of educational system in Serbia. Mrs. Jasminka Čekić Marković from Center for Educational Policy as a next speaker opened question of implementation plan for Strategy. During the discussion teachers, civil society representatives, students, members of Ministry of Education, Science and Technology development, pointed out the current problems in education. Moreover, Representatives of Adult Education Society made a contribution to discussion by drawing attention on significance of adult education for whole educational system, labor market and individuals. They underlined the fact that society still has not recognized educational needs of adults and that new educational strategy didn’t value adult education in a right manner.

Project Wider Benefits of Lifelong Leaning

Europe, November 2011. The EU-funded project Wider Benefits of Lifelong Leaning (BeLL) was started.  The complexity between learning and educational efforts of individuals and the concrete benefit for the well-being of individuals and societies will be examined. In this process the benefit research primarily focuses on the social benefits and not only on the economic benefit of learning. This is the first project collecting comparative quantitative and qualitative data about the felt and provable social and individual benefits appearing after the participation in (continuing) education. The empirical data can serve to advise policymakers and to legitimatise investments in this field of education which does not rank first in the range of politics. The project consortium consists of representatives from Universities, private and public research institutes, as well as practice institutions. The Adult Education Society in Serbia will participate as a silent partner, but equaly conducting all research phases.