Sweden plans to scrap Swedish for Immigrants courses for adult education

swedish governmentThe Swedish government wants to put an end to the state-run Swedish for Immigrants courses (SFI), proposing on Tuesday that the courses get taken over by the municipal adult education programme (Komvux) instead.

“By moving SFI into continuing adult education, it will become easier to adjust Swedish language education to each student and combine the studies with work and internships,” Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag stated in the proposal.

The government also proposed three different study paths based on the student’s prior knowledge, and the right to choose class times which suit their schedule. Municipalities would be required to offer evening classes – an opportunity currently only offered by about half of Sweden’s municipalities.

Ullenhag added that dismantling SFI would make it easier to accommodate other educational needs among immigrants to Sweden.

A doctor with a licence and education from another country would be able to take language classes at the same time as taking supplementary courses to be able to practice in Sweden.

“Under the current system, if you want to study at college you have to finish SFI first, and then take Swedish as a second language at Komvux,” Ullenhag said. “But with these changes you could start off on the right path from day one.”

Via The Local 

OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First Results from the Survey of Adult Skills

This first OECD Skills Outlook presents the initial results of the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), which evaluates the skills of adults in 24 countries. It provides insights into the availability of some of the key skills and how they are used at work and at home. A major component is the direct assessment of key information-processing skills: literacy, numeracy and problem solving in the context of technology-rich environments.

> Download this book for free

> Download the key findings: Skilled for Life? Key Findings from the Survey of Adult Skills | FR | GER

> Read a summary in your language


Chapter 1. The Skills Needed for the 21st Century

This chapter introduces the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). It gives a brief overview of how and why the demand for skills has been changing over the past decades. It discusses the advent and widespread adoption of information and communication technologies. The chapter describes how the survey – the first international survey to directly measure skills in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments – can assist policy makers.

Chapter 2. Proficiency in Key Information-Processing Skills among Working-Age AdultsThis chapter reveals the level and distribution of proficiency in key information-processing skills among adults in the countries that participated in the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC). Results are presented separately for literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. To help readers interpret the findings, the results are linked to descriptions of what adults with particular scores can do.
Chapter 3. The Socio-Demographic Distribution of Key Information-Processing SkillsThis chapter examines how proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments is distributed among individuals according to various socio-demographic characteristics. These include socio-economic background, educational attainment, immigrant and/or foreign-language background, age, gender and type of occupation.
Chapter 4. How Skills Are Used in the WorkplaceThis chapter discusses how information-processing and generic skills are used in the workplace. It also reveals the extent of “mismatch” between the qualifications held by workers or their skills proficiency and the qualifications or skills required in their jobs. Qualification and skills mismatch are compared, and their effect on wages and the use of skills at work is assessed.
Chapter 5. Developing and Maintaining Key Information-Processing SkillsThis chapter examines the processes and practices that help to develop and maintain skills – and the factors that can lead to a loss of skills. It discusses how age, educational attainment, participation in adult learning activities and engagement in skills-related activities outside of work affect skills proficiency.
Chapter 6. Key Skills and Economic and Social Well-BeingThis chapter details how proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving skills is positively associated with other aspects of well-being. These include labour-market participation, employment, earnings, health, participation in associative or volunteer activities, and the belief that an individual can have an impact on the political process.

> Download Annex A: Tables of results

> Download The Survey of Adult Skills: Reader’s Companion

via OECD Documents:- Skills Outlook


UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning publishes the Second Global Report on Adult Learning and Education

425_600_grale-cover-13_07The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) is pleased to announce the publication of its Second Global Report on Adult Learning and Education – Rethinking Literacy. The first GRALE was published in December 2009 to coincide with the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI). The outcome document of that conference, the Belém Framework for Action, which was adopted by 144 UNESCO Member States, stipulated that UIL should conduct “a monitoring process at the global level to take stock and report periodically on progress in adult learning and education”. This report is the result of that monitoring process for the period 2010–2012. The print publication will be available in English, French and Spanish, and will be launched in all five UNESCO regions, starting with Asia and the Pacific (Jakarta) on 20–22 August 2013.

Drawing on data received from 141 countries, most in the form of a quantitative reporting template, the Report reviews progress in implementing the Belém Framework for Action. It focuses on the five key themes identified in Belém – policy, governance, financing, participation and quality – and examines in particular detail the transversal theme of adult literacy. It reveals that, while many of the same challenges remain, several of the core messages of the Belém Framework have found their way into national policy debates and reform processes.

Perhaps the most important message that emerges from this report is that lifelong and life-wide learning offers the most promising perspective to address the challenge of adult literacy.

Via UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning  

Download the Second Global Report on Adult Learning and Education – Rethinking Literacy

Download the Global Report on Adult Learning and Education

MEP Nevedalova calls on the Adult Education community not to give up!

eu infonet adult educationThe report by the European Parliament on the Communication “Rethinking Education” has been sucessfully voted in the Committee for Culture and Education. EAEA interviewed MEP Katarina Nevedalova (S&D), as a rapporteur of the report, on her views on non-formal (adult) education and the key challenges for the Communication in her view.

EAEA: What do you believe are the key challenges that should be addressed in the communication “rethinking education”?

In the report on Rethinking Education I tried to focus on 3 main objectives:

  • youth unemployment, which has to be faced by more than  23,5% of European young people; however due to both pressures of demographic change and inadequate training Europe’s lack of skills creates 2 million unfilled vacancies in the EU
  • education systems that are obsolete and creating a mismatch between opportunities provided by the education institutions and current labour market. Only possible way out of this situation is to update and design new systems to prevent the same situation from happening in the future. There is also a need to introduce new teaching methods, which would involve social, regional and business partners in educational process, and lifelong learning pathways;
  • broadening the mission of education and training policies so that they have a specific role in promoting active citizenship, personal development and well-being, and enhancing structured social dialogue.

EAEA: You organized a debate with stakeholders on the draft report by the European Parliament. What were the key messages out of that debate for you?

Sometimes I hear that concerns of people outside the institutions are barely taken into account and that stakeholders are not involved enough in decision making. That was not the case during the preparatory work on the draft report on Rethinking Education. We organised the roundtable and policy debates in the European Parliament which was aimed to open up the discussion among relevant stakeholders and political representatives.

As a result of the debate we understood that competences and transversal skills acquired during the education should lead to securing not only financial but also social and personal needs of the people.

EAEA: Adult education organizations in Europe, as well as many other education fields are concerned about the low priority of non-formal (adult) learning in the communication.  What do you think about that and are you planning to address that?

Highlighting the important role of non-formal and informal learning I consider as part of an overall lifelong learning strategy aiming at a socially inclusive knowledge society with strong and active citizens. For that reason I tried to strengthen the role of youth, educational organisations as well as other partners in educational process as complementary educational providers for non-formal and informal learning and volunteering.  Any additional experience hence the education might help people to attain both transversal skills and individual personal competences, such as critical thinking and problem solving, team work and communication, and self-confidence and leadership.

EAEA: You had first exchanges of views with various stakeholders and within the European Parliament, as well as the first draft of report is ready. Can you already tell us about the direction you are looking at?

I hope that the main message of the report will be easily revealed. I fully agree with words of one of the stakeholders during the above mentioned roundtable: “With employability comes opportunity”. On one side it might be seen as an extremely pragmatic approach but on the other hand people can build their lives, self confidence, improve social behaviour or become active citizens only in an appropriate environment. Good and quality education, traineeship or apprenticeship opportunities and work-based learning should serve as the way through which the individual can ensure all basic needs in life. The main idea behind the report is not only to identify the main skills and challenges for learners and people entering the labour market but also to find solutions for how to maintain the precondition of their individual and economic independence. Every human being has the right to access education. If we want to make this a reality, we need to invest in quality education in a long-lasting and sustainable way.

EAEA: Can you tell us, what adult learning means for you?

There are still less and less people who rest at one job position all over the life period. In today´s world it is not only students and young people entering the labour market who need to gather right skills for the right job. There are also adults who need further qualification in order to improve their personal situation, as regards employment, social inclusion, family life, active citizenship or self-recognition, for example. New competences and transversal skills acquired should lead to securing not only financial but also social and personal needs of the people.

EAEA: Is there a message you would like us to deliver to the European adult education community?

DO NOT GIVE UP! If we are adults it doesn´t mean that we do not need to learn anymore. Every day brings into our lives new challenges we need to face. New technologies, digital evolution, social networks or new tasks at work ask for different approach to our career than we were used to. Therefore, a priority of the report is a lifelong learning as well as a career-long professional training, due in particular to the rapid changes in contemporary world.

Via European Association for the Education of Adults – Infonet (17/9/2013)

European Parliament Procedure File – Rethinking Education

European Commission Communication – Rethinking Education