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.
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?
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.
Society throughout Europe and beyond is severely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). People are affected in their daily lives and are afraid of the consequences for their health, their workplace and their well-being. Across the continent, ALE providers are being forced to close, with dramatic consequences for employers, institutional sustainability, employees and, last but not least, learners.
As a reaction to the existing challenges in the inclusion of migrants in their new host countries, organisations from several European countries decided to come together to shed light on the contributions of migrant women to their diaspora communities, and to reflect on how their activities could be encouraged and further supported. The consortium is now happy to share a data collection on how women use their experiences and linguistic knowledge to help newcomers in diaspora communities adapt to the local culture and the new language.
Every year, EAEA looks to adult education projects from Europe and further afield for their demonstrations of innovation and excellence. The EAEA Grundtvig Award highlights project results that produce new ideas, new partnerships, new methodologies and a new understanding of how we can work in adult education.
EAEA has prepared a short Brexit Update with the current state of affairs for Erasmus+ projects and mobility during this transition period and beyond.
The added value of non-formal adult learning: large differences in taxation of adult education in Europe
Over the past few years, there have been several initiatives by national and regional governments in EU countries to change the taxation of adult education. The exemption of non-formal adult education from the value-added tax is particularly controversial – as it is often argued by politicians that non-formal adult education is ‘leisure-time entertainment’ and is therefore not an activity in the public interest.
The new European Parliament and the new European Commission have started their work on the new portfolios in the second half of 2019. The European Union will have to take a clear direction on issues such as sustainability, democracy, and demographic changes. An EAEA working group explored these issues. The results were published in a background paper in December 2019.
A new policy paper, published in December, concludes EAEA’s thematic work on life skills in 2019. It outlines the key principles of a life skills approach and its potential for increasing participation levels, and offers a set of recommendations.