LLLWeek 2020 – Host and organisers
“It is my honour and pleasure to host the Lifelong Learning Week in 2020. This year will mark a major break, perhaps even a change in the way we think and act about globalisation and sustainability. When this year’s theme “lifelong learning for sustainable societies” was chosen, nobody could have guessed how tightly the Covid-19 pandemic would grip our societies. This far-reaching experience for all may have disillusioned us in some ways. In any case, it should encourage us, because education remains, in my opinion, the most important key driving source for sustainable development.
“A development based on equality of opportunity, which enables people to live in peace and a sustainable ecosystem” – this was the self-declared goal of the UNESCO Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (2015-2019). We are not there, yet. We haven’t accomplished the European Education Area what should remain our goal for 2025 and mark a cornerstone on our way to the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. A great many young people today are “sustainability-savvy”, motivated and bring with them certain knowledge of sustainable development. Despite their high motivation, however, only a few of them have the hope that positive scenarios will be realised. The emphasis on “learning that empowers, matters and lasts” for this year’s weak comes with it just at the right time. Without education, we can’t empower, nor engage, respond nor transform.
We are on the right track and should continue on it consistently! The Council is right saying “the European Education Area should be underpinned by the lifelong learning continuum, from early childhood education and care through school and vocational education and training to higher education and adult education, including non-formal and informal learning”. But it is a long way and we, as politicians, should invest more in it. That is why I steadfastly demand Member States to invest at least 10% of their respective gross domestic product in education.
Civil society actors are essential support in lifelong learning for sustainable development. They are increasingly becoming partners of the learning institutions and promote a culture of sustainability. They inform, guide and encourage people from all generations and from various educational backgrounds. I hope and wish that both this year’s LLLWeek and the LLLAwards will again draw attention to remarkable lifelong learning projects throughout the EU and highlight the indispensable importance of these actors and their work.”
Picture copyright: © Susie Knoll