Workshop A |
Workshop B |
Workshop C |
Workshop C - Session 3
I just would like to deal with adult education in Europe from the point of view of our organisation. I am going to speak about the four objectives that we have.
First of all I just want to tell you something about the Federation and our programme. At the very end I will give you some of our aims and some of our failures so you can evaluate the job that the Popular Universities are doing in Spain.
The Popular Universities started working at the beginning of the century and had some very important people inputting their knowledge to set up these organisations. During the Franco era our organisations were closed down and we had to re-open them at the beginning of the '80s when we had a new way of thinking in Spain. These Popular Universities were colleges of higher education, but now we have developed new courses which go slightly below higher education because that is what is needed in Spain at the moment. We need to prepare people for life before they reach higher education standards.
Since 1995/96 we have a new role. Prior to this we were working on traditional education that has put an emphasis on learning within the traditional context and learning from text. Then we had the new school method that uses the active methodology and have developed courses for lifelong learning. We have about 200 sites, 100,000 trainees and 2,500 trainers covering Spain nationwide. We can see that preparing adults for a better life is a very important subject. We want to bring about all the possibilities that we have at hand to eliminate educational barriers and through solidarity and justice we want to create a new social re-organisation in the work environment in Spain.
Social and Cultural
We have to look for a new balance and therefore the methodology has to have an input from the social and cultural fields. We have to prepare different courses for the young, women, adults and immigrants because we have to coincide with the social changes that we have now in Spain and we have to increase multi-skilling activities.
One of the main points with the new schooling model is that it emphasises active methodology and new processes. This has been very rewarding for us but at the same time we still have had to incorporate new things, new elements like lifelong learning modules that cover both cross-issues and core skill courses. This is providing better tools for the long term unemployed in Spain because people have to go through different types of courses to get a grasp of what is needed in Spain at the moment. We have a range of courses that include peace issues, environmental issues also inter-cultural ones and relationships between generations and the new working culture.
We have developed a curriculum that goes from basic education then on into specific courses like language training and training for employment in new skills. We also give training for the new cultural aspects that any citizen has to develop to have active citizenship. Through that we can promote social inclusion because otherwise these people could not be reintegrated in society.
One thing that we pay a lot of attention to are the cross-issues and this reflects the commitment that the organisation has to multi-skilling all our students. We have to equip women for different jobs, men for probably new technologies. We also have to be more or less taking the temperature of all these different groups and then applying the skills to these courses. If we are wrong we would be wasting our budget which already is very tight.
To finish I just want to say that we have some aims that have been achieved fully. These include the improvement of self-esteem in all our trainees. We have contributed to further personal development in a high percentage of the trainee populations that have come to us. Our development of co-ordinated actions between the different organisations in the local environment has led to better local programmes that have given a major boost to social inclusion. There has been, in short, advancement in both personal and social development.
As to our problems, to change people's mentality is one of the most difficult things on earth. We have taken people from the concept of traditional education to more of an active role, but we need even better planning and basic skills and cross-issues, because otherwise it is impossible to progress. We can say also that cross-issues have been a very good part of the curriculum but they have been misunderstood by many of the trainees. We have had some problems there. They were very good for us but they have not been well received by the majority of the students and so we have to reorganise and redesign some of these courses.