The representative of the event’s sponsor, the Municipality of Celje, Deputy Mayor Breda Arnšek, also argued for the role of lifelong learning in her encouraging speech. She expressed enthusiasm that this year the organisation of the national opening was entrusted to their public institution – Celje AEC. Directress Ines Stilin highlighted, among other things, the role of Slovenian AECs, which have been successful providers of knowledge and experience, motivators and designers of new minds throughout the country for more than a century. Celje AEC celebrated their 100th anniversary at the end of last year. This year, for the sixth year in a row, they brougth together close to 50 partners in the role of LLW coordinator. Together they organised the same number and even more events.
Awareness-raising as the first condition for later learning and education should be carried out throughout the year, not just in the five weeks of LLW.
Keynote speaker Iva Mlinšek Lešnik, MSc, President of the Innovation Commission at the Celje Regional Chamber of Commerce, shared her personal story with around 200 participants in this gala event. Her path took her from studying metallurgy to employment at Zlatarna Celje while also flirting with medicine, to two experiences of motherhood etc., and finally to the current work and many other engagements marked by the concept of innovation – constantly searching for something new. She repeatedly emphasised the importance of the mother tongue as an example of a (never-ending) learning process.
Among the 12 Leading LLW themes – Joint actions LLW 2022 marked the European Year of Youth. The holder of this initiative in Slovenia is the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth. Their representative, Zdravko Fujan, briefly outlined this year’s plans and expressed satisfaction with the connection we created. Aspects of the European Year of Youth 2022 found their place in LLW at around 300 events; more information is available here.
The award winners are always the most important part of the national opening of LLW
For the second time in a row, their selection was entrusted to the holder of the opening and other LLW coordinators in the region – last year in Pomurje, this year in the Savinjska region. Celje AEC co-workers Maja Krivec and Stane Žlof rose to the challenge of preparing video portraits of selected five exemplary learners for the first time. They joined forces with Alen Pavšar from the ALMEDIA Media Production, a film director and high school teacher. They successfully prepared incredibly inspiring video portraits – of course, in collaboration with excellent portrayed persons, those that nominated them, family members and friends. No one was left indifferent, and many tears were shed in the hall as we witnessed overcoming severe challenges common to all winners. At the same time, our difficulties may have seemed negligible. However, we were all moved by the vital role that learning and socialising with encouraging people – learning peers and uncompromising but compassionate teachers – played in this.
The cultural programme was excellent as well. It did not only entertaine us between individual performances but increased the tension also thanks to the dynamic and colourful backgrounds. The incredible members of the Čupakabra ensemble were already waiting for us in front of the entrance to Celjski dom and made us laugh thoroughly with their later performances. Goran Bojčevski and Andraž Frece played the famous Libertango by Astor Piazzolla, which symbolises a departure from tradition (classical tango) to the new (tango nuevo). Young singers Zala Grögl and Klara Tiselj filled the hall with stunning performances – last but not least, with the meaningful song A Million Dreams, which took us to great heights and affirmed that we are creating a new world with our dreams and visions.