The current crisis not only leads to skyrocketing energy costs for educational institutions but also has a strong negative impact on the purchasing power of learners and the retention of ALE staff by educational institutions. This, in turn, has a negative impact on access to learning.
At the same time, ALE offers citizens the most direct access to learning opportunities on sustainability: these opportunities are at risk of being curtailed in the coming months and possibly years.
We call for IMMEDIATE ACTION AT ALL POLITICAL LEVELS to provide structural and financial support to ALE organisations and providers, to ensure learning opportunities for all adults.
The current crisis is highly jeopardising the potential of ALE as learning opportunities are limited due to high energy prices and inflation. This creates structural exclusion from adult learning and education, increasing the risk that adults will be socially excluded, have fewer opportunities for further education, and have less access to learning about sustainability – a dimension that should not be underestimated when it comes to green change and moving towards more sustainable energy production and consumption.
We recall that the European Pillar of Social Rights enshrines the right of everyone to lifelong learning. This right must be protected and promoted, also and especially in times of crisis.
ALE organisations and providers need immediate support
- To be able to cover their increased energy and heating costs;
- To be able to retain educators and other staff, and adapt salaries to the rising costs of living;
- To be able to retain learners, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, people with illnesses, and elderly people, and to provide safe and warm spaces for learning and social inclusion;
- To be able to apply for additional funding to implement more learning activities that contribute to a just green transition and climate action.