ADULT EDUCATION COUNCIL FOR FINLAND
Comments on the Commission Communication on Adult Learning 1. The European Union plays an important part in promoting national adult education policies and the diversification and development of adult education. On the other hand, Union-level regulation of adult education is not expedient or necessary. 2. Adult education is at the core of lifelong learning policy. It is a key factor for maintaining social cohesion, combating racism and deepening democracy in society. Adult education also plays an important part in the construction of the European Union and in educating citizens of the member states for co-action. Adult education is key factor in efforts to safeguard the international competitiveness of the EU under conditions of rapid technological development and globalisation. It is only through adult learning that we can ensure a knowledgeable and skilled work force, a rising level of education and labour mobility. Especially with a view to keeping the constantly ageing population in good form and longer in working life, it is vital to see to the maintenance and continuous development of their personal and vocational knowledge and skills. Adult education and training must be planned, evaluated and developed on adult terms as an entity of its own. It must also be possible to examine adult education separately from education provided for young people. Adult education must apply different teaching methods and solutions geared to adults. In the hands of well-educated, high-level adult educators, they and teaching arrangements based on adult pedagogy and distance and virtual learning bring good results, help adults to complete their studies speedily and generate major savings. Adult education must be on offer at all education levels (in general and vocational secondary education, in polytechnics and universities and in liberal adult education). The government must promote and support adult education provision in different ways. The government must also specifically look after the education and training of the less advantaged population groups. Every working adult should have opportunities for training of 1 to 2 weeks each year for a thorough upgrading of knowledge and skills every 10 to 15 years.
Chair of the Council Secretay General
Heikki Suomalainen Matti Ropponen