08.06.2018

EAEA statement: European Education Area must not leave adults behind

While the European Commission’s latest plans to further the European Education Area underline the commitment to lifelong learning, the measures proposed are not embedded in a holistic lifelong learning approach. EAEA’s Reaction to the Second Package of the European Education Area calls for a stronger consideration of all age groups and stages of learning.

EAEA welcomes the appreciation of lifelong learning in the Communication on Building a stronger Europe: the role of youth, education and culture policies. However, the measures proposed in the package are not embedded in a holistic lifelong learning approach.

The package focuses strongly on young people. While investments in the young generation are, without any doubt, very important, adults cannot be left behind,” EAEA reminds in its statement.

The Proposal for a Council Recommendation on High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care Systems, launched as part of the second package of the European Education Area, fails to recognize the crucial role of family learning that is providing adults with the skills and knowledge to support their children’s education.

The package focuses strongly on young people. While investments in the young generation are, without any doubt, very important, the adult generation cannot be left behind.

With the Proposal for a Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages, the European Union sets out to create a multilingual Europe.

“Despite this ambition, the proposal focuses on language learning at school and in higher education, omitting the role of adult education for language learning,” EAEA criticizes.

EAEA calls for the need to foresee access to affordable and high quality language learning in all member states, as well as focus on the native language skills of adults.

“What the proposal still does not take into account is that as much as one fifth of the adult population has poor literacy skills, and more than a third has intermediate skills – in their native language, according to the PIAAC study,” the statement says.

EAEA recommends integrating a lifelong learning approach that considers all ages and all stages of learning. This means recognising the role of adult learning in all measures proposed by the European Union in order to improve their impact.

EAEA’s recommendations

  • To ensure a holistic approach to lifelong learning, invest in not only the education of young generation but also of adults

  • Recognise the role of family learning in providing adults with the skills and knowledge to support their children’s education and emotional development

  • Recognise the role of adult education in language learning as a means of communication and a stepping stone into further education

  • Ensure access to affordable and high quality language learning in all Member States

  • Provide special attention to the language learning offers for adults over 34 to ensure the improvement of literacy skills in the native language

  • Improve flexibility of language learning through digital tools and media.

Read the full statement.

More information

Contact: Gina Ebner, EAEA Secretary-General, +32 2 893 25 24, gina.ebner@eaea.org.

 

Text: EAEAPhotos: European Commission

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