Good Practice: The Second Chance Systematic Development of Functional Elementary Education of Adults

Developed the time period between 2012-13 by the (Republic of Serbia) Ministry of Education, this initiative aims at strengthening civic & Personal and interpersonal capabilities of adults above 15 with incomplete elementary education or without vocational qualifications with priority given to socially vulnerable target groups. Further Information is available in Serbian.

The main goal of this FEEA program is to establish a system of functional elementary education for adults, that is accessible and responsive to learners’ and labour market needs in line with the lifelong learning concept, and focused on improving life skills and competences. Addressing adults above 15 years of age with incomplete elementary education or without vocational qualifications, its priority is being given to socially vulnerable target groups. The curriculum is organised in 3 cycles, each lasting one school year: the first cycle (I-IV grades), the second cycle (V-VI grades), and the third cycle (VII-VIII grades and training for 35 vocational profiles). During the third year, students attend one of the Vocational and Educational Training (VET) programs from among 35 offered vocational profiles (low qualified ones) e.g. hairdresser, chef assistant etc. All of those who successfully complete the FEEA curriculum receive an elementary school diploma and a certificate of vocational competence.

The aim of this program was to renovate old basic education schools for adults in order to be sustainable in the future and to be fully funded by the government, nationally recognized and valued. As the project was carried out in cooperation with the ministry and a large number of stakeholders, the policies on the issue were also modified and adapted in order to benefit the project’s purposes and impact.

The new school team position ‘andragogical assistant’ was introduced within regular elementary schools, with the aim of helping teachers, participants and their families in the learning and wider integration process. In order to promote schooling and societal integration, due to this program, better integration of

the community, families and schools was established. The project took into consideration the learners’ needs in curriculum development and in the organizational aspects of the courses. The project included an awareness-raising campaign about the importance of second-chance education addressed to the general public, whereby the support of the national and local media was crucial in the promotion of the culture of learning at a senior age.

Positive examples of practice as stated by the contributor of the practice, the EAEA, were used to highlight the positive benefits of the project for potential participants and for the whole of society. This vast project demanded a restructuring and renovation of the old basic education schools for adults, as well as pointed out the requirement for new classes for adults to be established in 80 regular elementary and 75 vocational secondary schools across Serbia. It was also used to draw lessons and recommendations for the recently drafted Serbian law on adult education.