A problem of trust


Incorporating non-formal education into the national qualifications framework will take a long time in Greece, Magda Trantallidi tells. “Only exams count in my country. There is no trust in recognition of prior learning. It is considered second class competences,” she says.

Magda Trantallidi is working in the Ministry of Education in Greece. She is head of the department for European policies on lifelong learning. Also she is an associate member of EAEA.
Magda Trantallidi expect the establishment of a national qualifications framework to be a slow process, especially the task of incorporating non-formal and informal learning.
“In September this year we started a public consultation. In contrast to some of the other countries at this conference the formal sector has no problems with a qualifications framework based on learning outcomes. But the non-formal sector is skeptical,” she tells.

Non-formal learning not recognized

The main problem is accreditation of learning outcomes in the non-formal sector.
“In Greece all educational institutions are very much based on exams. So it will be very difficult to make non-formal and informal learning recognized,” says Magda Trantallidi.
She adds:
“There is no trust in anything or anybody in Greece, and certainly not in recognition of prior learning. It is considered second class competences not only by employers, the formal educational institutions and the state, but also by the learners themselves.
For example, an electrician with an exam will not accept a colleague whose competences in the trade are gained through non-formal and informal learning.”

Pros and cons

Personally Magda Trantallidi herself is not convinced about the benefits of a qualifications framework that is based on validation of prior learning:
“It will take a lot of financial and labour resources to establish. Money that may have been spent more effective on adult education. On the other hand real life is the best argument in favour. You can be very competent without a degree of higher education, and lots of professors are without competences of for example collaboration despite all the necessary exams.”
From the conference, though, Magda Trantallidi will bring arguments to use in Greece in favour of models for Recognition of Prior Learning:
“Often people argue that it is a measure only for big, rich northern countries like Germany and France. But here we see that we can learn a lot from smaller Nordic countries and even from relatively poor countries like Ireland,” she says.