l'Europe célèbre les 10 ans du programme Grundtvig pour l'apprentissage tout au long de la vie
Près de 250 personnes se sont réunies à Copenhague (Danemark) afin de céléber les 10 ans du programme Grundtvig de la communauté européenne. Ce programme a pour vocation « d’offrir de nouvelles possibilités d’apprentissage à tous, et plus particulièrement aux adultes au bord de l’exclusion sociale et aux travailleurs plus âgés »
La Commissaire européenne Vassiliou, qui a pris la parole lors de l'événement, a tenté d'être rassurante quant à l'avenir du programme qui entre dans sa dernière phase de développement jusqu'à 2013 et dont les suites ne sont pas encore connues. Les succès atteints en matière de formation des adultes grâce à Grundtvig, qui bénéficie pourtant d'un budget réduit en comparaison avec les autres programmes éducatifs européens, ainsi que la crise économique et sociale à laquelle l'Europe fait face en ce moment indiquent clairement que l'implication dans le domaine de la formation tout au long de la vie est nécessaire, selon la Commissaire. Celle-ci a d'ailleurs promis que la Commission européenne présenterait, au cours de la prochaine année, des propositions pour la continuation du plan d'action d'éducation des adultes (Adult Learning Action Plan) ainsi que pour les programmes concernant la formation tout au long de la vie, incluant le programme Grundtvig.
Communiqué (en version anglaise originale - tirée du site de European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA))
Succesful celebrations of the Grundtvig Programme
Some 250 people from all over Europe and beyond gathered in Copenhagen to celebrate a decade of the Grundtvig Programme. EU Commisisoner Vassiliou spoke at the event, giving lifelong learning her strong support.
In her speech she clearly wanted to calm fears that since spring has made many adult educators worry for the future of EU policies in adult learning. As the current programme period enters its last phase (it ends 2013) rumors of change has surfaced in Brussels. Commissioner Vassiliou explained in Copenhagen that the success of the Grundtvig Programme and the need in Europe for a strategy to combat the financial and social crisis indicates the strong need for a continous European involvement in adult education.
In her speech she declared that "At a time of economic and social crisis; when life has become more complex; when the pace of change continues to speed up, people without solid skills are living ever more precarious lives.
But we cannot accept such waste of talent and potential - either for the individual or for society as a whole. We must, like N.F.S. Grundtvig, make education a lifelong opportunity for everyone, whatever their age or situation. As President Barroso said recently, no one should be left abandoned at the side of the road.
At European level, we are sparing no effort to put this message across. "Europe 2020" - the European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth - puts education and training at the centre of our recovery.
Education and skills are essential ingredients of the flagship initiatives driving the Union's economic and social strategy for the next decade - Youth on the Move, the Agenda for new skills and jobs and the European Platform against Poverty.
We stress that education is not a one-shot opportunity. Especially today, in a rapidly changing world, and in a Europe where people are living longer, learning must continue throughout life.
This is where the Grundtvig programme comes in. It takes over where our other education programmes leave off, and gives people a much-needed chance of going 'one step up' in their education, whatever their situation.
It provides second-chance learning opportunities for people who did not obtain a qualification first time round.
In what is a special priority for us this year, the European Year against Poverty and Social Exclusion, it reaches out to marginalised and disadvantaged groups in society - urban youth, people with disabilities, people from ethnic minorities, people in prison or ex-offenders.
And it engages with older citizens to promote learning later in life - a growing concern of social policy, as the numbers of active, older people increase across Europe.
Even though it has the smallest budget of all our education programmes, Grundtvig has generated a whole range of positive impacts - and for this anniversary year we intend to make these successes better known.
To mention just one success: every year, nearly 2000 organisations from over 30 countries join hands in the Grundtvig "Learning Partnerships" to work on projects directly involving adult learners. These reach out to over 80,000 local participants; for most of them it is their very first taste of cooperation with another European country.
More broadly speaking, the programme is a very useful test-bed for innovation and creativity.
Grundtvig brings a European dimension - often for the first time - to organisations directly involved in adult education; it helps develop networks of professionals for exchanging good practice; it fosters social cohesion and inter-cultural dialogue. And it helps to forge a Europe of the citizens, giving adults - especially less advantaged adults - a sense of how engaging with Europe can improve their lives.
Thus today we not only look back and celebrate a decade of the Grundtvig programme. We also look forward, to the future policy agenda for adult learning. This is a joint effort involving the Commission, people on the ground, and the Member States.
I would like to finish, therefore, by looking to what lies ahead for adult learning in the European context.
If Europe is to succeed in the next decade, we must improve the knowledge and skills of the entire population. And we must make it possible for all our citizens to engage with society, to participate in making the choices for their communities.
Yes, we must continue our efforts to raise the quality of our young people's education. But we must also broaden our approach, embracing adult learning in all its forms as a full and equal partner in the process.
Our Europe 2020 flagship, "Youth on the Move", has set down the challenges of raising the numbers of Higher Education graduates to 40%, and reducing to under 10% the number of young people who leave school early.
In combination with these baseline targets, adult learning will have a vital role - it offers a second chance to people who enter adulthood without any qualifications or with low reading and mathematical skills; and it helps counter social exclusion, encouraging people to engage actively and critically with society.
This is why EU education ministers have agreed to raise the European target for adult learning to 15% of all adults by 2020. Some countries, such as Denmark and Germany with over 30%, have outstanding rates of adult learning. But the EU average is still only around 10%, so much work remains to be done.
Europe will also continue to need highly motivated and qualified people from all over the world. Here again adult education is essential, helping to integrate migrants and people from ethnic minorities in society and the labour market.
The Grundtvig programme itself has contributed strongly. It has helped develop innovative good practice models, strengthened cooperation between training providers, and improved the training of staff working with migrant communities.
The ageing population will itself bring new challenges and opportunities for adult learning. On the one hand, helping older workers up-skill and adapt to change and on the other, lifelong learning will have a vital role in improving the quality of life of older people and contributing to active ageing - both a social and an economic imperative. In an ageing society, inter-generational learning will help cement the solidarity links between young and old.
Not that Grundtvig focuses only on older learners. The programme also provides second-chance learning opportunities for younger adults. This will remain a key priority over the next decade, giving these actions an important role in the Youth on the Move initiative.
And within the next year, the Commission will present proposals both on the follow-up to the Adult Learning Action Plan, and for the future programme to succeed the Lifelong Learning programme, including Grundtvig, after 2013.
Let me say without ambiguity: adult learning, in all its facets, will be a crucial part of our future plans.
The Commission is fully aware that an effective adult learning sector is vital to our economy and society for the next decade. Over the past ten years we have taken a strong lead in encouraging Member States to make lifelong learning the basic principle underlying education and training.
We remain as committed to this as ever. I know that some of you have been concerned that Youth on the Move might seem to suggest a change of focus, but let me put your minds at rest.
It is not a question of one or the other, but rather a coherent and interlocking set of policies and programmes to meet the challenges of the future.
Youth on the Move, with its emphasis on mobility and young people, is a vital part of this construction - and one which a programme like Grundtvig, with its activities for young adults, can really enrich.
But our goal is to deliver on our lifelong learning objectives as a whole, so all facets of education and training remain in the spotlight.
Adult learning will thus continue to play a prominent role in our future programme. Translating this commitment into concrete programme design will be the focus of discussion over the coming months.
We want that discussion to be open, transparent and involve all the stakeholders. Last week we launched a public consultation on the future programme. I encourage you all to take part: help us to get the planning right in order to meet your needs. We need your personal experience, we need your input.
I am happy to say that we are gradually laying the foundations for a sustainable tradition of European cooperation in adult learning, thanks in large part to the Grundtvig programme. The European Commission is proud to be involved. But the programme's success is down to the commitment of all those who embrace its aims and help to make it a reality.
I look forward to the steps ahead.
We have to develop adult learning so that we preserve our values and social fabric while shaping the future, in a spirit of self-esteem and mutual respect.
We have to develop adult learning to prepare young adults for their careers and to develop a passion for new challenges; to be critical thinkers, problem-solvers and lifelong learners.
In short, ladies and gentlemen, nearly a century and a half after his death, we continue to strive for the ideals which were dear to N.F.S. Grundtvig himself. Those who predict a 21st century of adult learning, just as the 19th and 20th saw the development of schools and universities, may not be far from the truth. Grundtvig's vision is helping to shape our future."
Her speech was met with ovations, and supplied a fitting ending to this final celebratory Conference in Copenhagen on the Grundtvig Programme.
[Source : http://tinyurl.com/26ktgeq]