‘Our aim is to celebrate 25 years of LLW with as many people as possible, and include all target groups, for high impact and visibility’. This sentence taken from our 3 March article on the Slovenian LLW is the best articulation of our attitude that had guided us in 2019 and in the beginning of this year. At two meetings of the LLW network, dedicated to designing the 25th anniversary, a multitude of great ideas was produced, and we were all looking forward to an outstanding country-wide celebration.

However, in the middle of March, it became quite clear that the usual May/June timeframe of the LLW is not feasible. Namely, the COVID-19 lock-down forced us to postpone the learning festival to autumn – under the assumption that then, large gatherings and public events will be possible again. Thus, the new LLW period will run from 4 September until 9 October with the Learning Parade – Day of learning communities scheduled for 9 September. For now, we are certainly determined to carry out activities that have been announced by regional and thematic LLW coordinators in their applications for co-funding by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. But, what if…?

There are several opportunities to think and act out of the box

As we indicated in our previously mentioned article, money for co-financing of the LLW coordination and other non-formal AE is scarce this year, and the Covid-19 uncertainty only made the situation worse. On top of that, for the first time since 1997 we have not selected outstanding learners and other examples of excellence in adult education. Their life histories have always been the main attraction of the national openings. Unfortunately, in the past few years, the number of nominees has been low, nominators were from more or less the same AE provider organisations, and nominations less convincing and enthusiastic than in the past. We were under the impression that we were facing a dead end as far as new examples of the learners’ voice are concerned. Therefore, we decided in 2020 to concentrate on the overhaul of the award winners’ institute, trying to come up with innovative ways of reaching out to a larger pool of outstanding role models in the future.

Lack of money, a great deal of uncertainty regarding live events, and being left without a major portion of the national opening programme, we decided to do things differently. We are working on the production of a LLW musical video – a song of praise to lifelong learning. In addition, 25 video statements by renowned people, among them also our award winners, about the meaning and impacts of learning in their lives will be produced. Our imagination on how to mobilise the whole country via these products and some more has got its wings. We will keep you informed.

LLW will address several walks of life – in spite of barriers or for their sake

As for contents of the hundreds of local events taking place in the five weeks, they will address topical issues such as the digitalisation of society, challenges of an ageing population and intergenerational cooperation, migration and intercultural issues. These, in fact, were three of the 2019 Future of Learning Forum topics, which in turn, have become themes of the EAAL implementation in Slovenia 2020–2021 project. Having the LLW in September/October also means an overlapping with traditional autumn campaigns, such as the National Month of Joint Reading, European Days of Cultural Heritage etc. In the same period, there are also some events that had been moved from spring to this time slot, such as the Cultural Bazar. Instead of competing for peoples’ attention, we will establish partnerships and synergies. There is not much time and the new COVID-19 wave could ruin all our good attempts. But our fuel is enthusiasm and faith in our mission. Let’s see. In any case, summer should be fun!

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

© 2017-2020 Slovenian Institute for Adult Education

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,  Andrej Sotošek, MSc, Director of SIAE, dr Tanja Možina, Tanja Vilič Klenovšek, MA, and Margerita Zagmajster, MSc, Computer solution: Franci Lajovic (T: 01 5842 555, E: franci.lajovic@acs.si) | Translation/proofreading: Prevajalska agencija Julija  | Design: Larisa Hercog | Corrective reading: Zvonka Pangerc Pahernik, MSc, and Mateja Pečar | W: https://enovicke.acs.si/en/home/