ALE providers need structural and financial support to be able to continue learning programmes and courses in and after the crisis

Support for ALE providers needed to mitigate consequences of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Society across Europe and beyond is hit hard by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). People are affected in their daily life and afraid of the consequences for their health, jobs and well-being. All across the continent, ALE providers are forced to close with dramatic consequences for employers, the sustainability of the institutions, employees, and, not least, the learners.

As no other education sector, ALE employs thousands of freelance trainers who are struggling hard to cope with this situation. This particular employment model that is precarious for many freelance trainers even without a crisis, has been the result of insufficient structural and financial support of ALE providers over a long period, in almost all European countries.

While, in some contexts, courses and training programmes can still be continued online, a vast majority of them had to be cancelled. Non-formal ALE not only transmits knowledge, skills and competencies, but it is also a key measure for social inclusion of the most vulnerable groups of society. These groups suffer most from the crisis as they are most likely to lack access to ICT devices and strong internet connections. Furthermore, in this difficult economic and social situation, people’s priorities shift to fulfilling their most urgent basic needs and those of their families.

EAEA, the voice of non-formal ALE in Europe will monitor the situation closely and advocate for measures to mitigate the impact of the crisis. We expect national governments and the European institutions to take effective measures to enable ALE providers and staff to manage the consequences of this unpredictable crisis. Europe needs a strong ALE sector to cope with the economic, social and environmental challenges of the next years, now more than ever!

Text: EAEAPhotos: Canva

02.04.2020 COVID-19

Outreach and access to learning during the coronavirus pandemic

One question currently unites all educational sectors: how can learning and teaching be organised during the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, and how can marginalised groups be included? Measures to contain the outbreak forced schools, universities, adult education centres and other educational institutions to suspend all face-to-face learning offers. Barriers to learning that have existed for learners from vulnerable groups before the pandemic are reinforced through the rules for “social distancing”, report EAEA members from all over Europe.

31.03.2020 COVID-19

Digital learning as a challenge and opportunity

As individuals and families across Europe find themselves “social distancing” or in quarantine at home, many have had to adapt to new ways of working and learning remotely. At the same time, a large number of e-learning offers for children, young people and adults have been advertised in social media. Should we be recognising this time, while strange and scary, as an opportunity for self-improvement, for personal development, for empowerment through e-learning?

26.03.2020 COVID-19

How adult education can promote better public health

In such unprecedented times as now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the world calls for new approaches to health and modern medicine. Non-formal adult learning provides an opportunity to create better health practices year-round. Not to mention how adults with a good understanding of their health and their health choices are more likely to follow medical advice closely: something exceptionally important right now to protect us, our families, and our communities.