“We have discussed the need for more discussion on adult education as a public good as there is a strong tendency to see adult education as a commercial good,” explains Gina Ebner, the EAEA Secretary General.
Meeting the needs of the adult education community
Each year, the EAEA compiles country reports from its membership. They have indicated that the topic of financing is an important issue for a large number of EAEA members.
“After a workshop organised on the topic with our members, we have decided to apply for a project that would also follow the work of the European Commission’s working group on financing adult education,” tells Ms. Ebner about the background of the project.
“We need to have good arguments why public funding of adult education is important,” says Gerhard Bisovsky, Secretary General of the Association of Austrian Adult Education Centres (VÖV), one of the project partners.
“But demanding public funding is never sexy. This is why we need hard facts. We deal with questions on return on investment.”
Advocacy tools for the national and European level
During the meeting, the nine project partners discussed the two-year timeline of the project, its outcomes and the general content of these outcomes.
“I hope the outcomes can be used in discussions with policy-makers and by our members as well,” says EAEA’s Gina Ebner.
“It was an excellent meeting,” says International Department Coordinator Susana Oliveira from the partner organisation Kerigma, Portugal.
“The project results will be important both on national and European level, as funding is a big issue on the national level. We need arguments to speak with policy-makers and this project will provide us with advocacy tools,” continues Ms. Oliveira, who is also known as the EAEA Vice-President.
Text: Tania BermanPhotos: Lending Memo, Tania Berman