The last, fourth opportunity to exchange expertise and examples from practice (PLA)  in the EAAL project took place on 21 and 22 September – flexibly, online. This time it was co-created by EAAL national coordinators from the following countries: Belgium (Flanders), Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Norway. Hanne Christensen from the Norwegian Directorate of Higher Education and Skills also skillfully led and moderated the event.

We first learned from Klara Engels-Pereny, the new coordinator for the implementation of EAAL at the European Commission, which documents are being prepared at the European level and how they will support our future work. Among them, of course, are the NEAAL, which is being prepared under the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, and recommendations on micro-credentials and individual learning accounts. Both instruments are based on the European Skills Agenda for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience (2020), but the Member States have conflicting views on their implementation. In any case, their purpose is to highlight the focus on the participants and provide them with adaptability and flexible learning opportunities.

Some Nordic countries are already very committed to flexibility

For starters, they have a clear look at what a flexible ALE offer really means or could mean. Norwegians, for example, advocate a holistic approach to learners; they adapt their offer of programmes to them based on their starting point and needs. They believe that flexibility includes several dimensions such as time, location and learning content. Although it is essential that technology supports education (online, open, digital, e-learning, etc.), the content is more important to them. Finns are again reforming part of their education system. They wish to facilitate preparatory forms of learning, which later enable adults with low skills to transition to secondary education. A feature of these so-called TUVA educational programmes is that they include general, liberal content.

Others implement new, flexible approaches as part of the EAAL project

In Latvia, these efforts are a part of implementing the Council Recommendation on Upskilling Pathways: New Opportunities for Adults. They are establishing a system, quality criteria, guidelines for effective management and design training, forms of awareness-raising and other exciting activities. In this way, they want to provide adults with opportunities to acquire life skills, and in doing so, they are cooperating with Estonia and Finland.

The same efforts are taking place in Greece, where, under the auspices of the EaSI BASIC project, they have established a partnership with the Employment Service, the Institute for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and some employers in order to carry out the steps of the Upskilling Pathways as harmoniously as possible.

Some other interesting national approaches were presented at the PLA. In the groups, we discussed the definition of target groups and how to reach them effectively, various learning venues, quality assurance, validation of previously acquired knowledge and skills and administrative and legislative barriers.

We were impressed by the videos created as part of the Flanders EAAL project:

As our moderator Hanne promised, she published a report on the PLA on the topic of flexible adult learning offer on EPALE, which is available here.

Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc (zvonka.pangerc@acs.si), SIAE

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The publication is co-financed by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities.

ISSN 2630-2926

Published by Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (SIAE), Šmartinska 134a, SI-1000 Ljubljana | Editor-in-chief: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc (E: zvonka.pangerc@acs.si) | Editor: Ana Peklenik (E: ana.peklenik@acs.si) | Other members of the editorial board: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc,  dr Nataša Potočnik, Directress of SIAE, dr Tanja Možina and Tanja Vilič Klenovšek, MA, Computer solution: Franci Lajovic (T: 01 5842 555, E: franci.lajovic@acs.si) | Translation/proofreading: Mesto znanja, izobraževanje in svetovanje za osebno rast, Petra Cvek, s. p.  | Design: Larisa Hercog | Corrective reading: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, and Mateja Pečar | W: https://enovicke.acs.si/en/home/