The 9th edition of the Lifelong Learning Week took place in the European Parliament on 2-6 December 2019. It was a dense week of debates, discussions and reflections upon the LLLP’s theme of the year: Learning democracy, values and participation: the added value of lifelong learning.
🔸 900 participants (almost) 🏟
🔸 hundreds of pictures (click here for the photo album) 📸
🔸 dozens of amazing speakers and experts 🗣
🔸 15 events ⚡️
🔸 12 MEPs involved throughout the week 🇪🇺
🔸 5 #LLLAwards19 Jury members 🙋♂️🙋♀️
🔸 3 LLLAwards winners 🏅
🔸 1 Reception 🍾
The week kicked off with a lively Lifelong Learning Civil Society Forum in the splendid framework of Town Hall Europe. Civil society organisations active in education and training debated their own role vis-à-vis the latest EU policy and their contribution to its development in the European Union. Important decision-makers, such as MEP Dace Melbarde, host of the LLLWeek 2019 and Themis Christophidou, Director-General for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture. A joyful Reception concluded the evening, with the celebration of the LLLAwards winners’ outstanding practices (click here to meet them!).
On Tuesday, the event on “Acting for global citizenship education today for the future generations of tomorrow” set the scene and assessed the contribution of civil society organisations to the ever-important topic of global citizenship education. MEP Devesa commended on the exceptional work done by CSOs in the field. Meanwhile, in the European Parliament, members and partners discussed a renewed approach to vocational education and training, trying to define concrete indicators to appreciate the social utility of VET. “Learning through gaming”, hosted by MEP Brando Benifei, reminded us that the potential of fun learning is still far from being completely met. The day ended with an insightful debate on the importance to upskill adults with basic digital skills in order to make them better citizens.
On Wednesday, participants got to appreciate an innovative topic: green competences for a new common framework in VET, hosted in the European Parliament by MEP John Howarth. Events followed closely and at a fast pace: guests of the LLLWeek debated youth participation in the recent EU elections with MEPs Nienaß and Šojdrová, but also the pedagogical potential of virtual exchanges with MEPs Majorino and Yenbou, and explored the needs of teachers when it comes to global citizenship education with MEP Julie Ward. This last topic was perceived as particularly important since teachers were also the focus of the EU Education Summit. A high-level event on the new InvestEU and the claims of the social sector concluded the event with MEPs Sant and Fernandes.
The LLLPlatform is committed to fighting for inclusive education systems: which is why on Thursday, with Mr Kakpo, Minister of Secondary, Technical and Vocational Education and Training of Benin, the LLL Interest Group launched UNESCO UIL’s 4th Global Report on Adult Learning and Education. The event, hosted by the Permanent Representation of Lower Saxony to the EU, was a great platform to discuss global challenges in terms of inclusion and was organised in partnership with both UNESCO UIL and the Europan Commission. The clear takeaway was that no country can afford to leave anyone behind.
In the afternoon, the LLLWeek explored what it takes to build safer organisations for everyone and learned with MEP Melchior how to equip future generations with educational tools to eradicate sexual harassment. Participants also learned to see “learning democracy” through school students rights, building on the 17 November movement with MEP Brando Benifei.
On the last day of the week, the LLLWeek organised an insightful discussion around one of the most pressing issues in the formal education sector: inclusive schools. Building on LLLP’s project InScool, the event asked burning questions. What can the EU do to promote inclusion in schools? How practitioners can improve inclusion in the management strategies of EU schools? The answers lie in the involvement of all actors in the decision-making processes, be them at local, national or European level. A (lifelong) learning approach remains crucial.
The LLLPlatform then held its Working Group on Wider Benefits of Learning, an intimate meeting where members gathered to define LLLP’s strategies vis-à-vis the Child Guarantee and its development, but also Key Competences and LifeComp. Last but not least, an intense debate on career guidance for better citizenship closed the LLLWeek and offered the first overview of LLLP’s new project Keep InPact.
LLLP would like to thank all speakers, participants, Steering Committee members, staff, volunteers, and most of all our beloved members for the hard work and the commitment to make this LLLWeek one of the most rewarding ever.