Closing Remarks


Closing Remarks

Three different perspectives

In the absence due to illness of Ms Bettina Bochynek from the UNESCO Institute of Lifelong Learning the floor was given to three distinguished participants to deliver some information and their personal remarks and reflections during this last hour of the conference

NGOs and CONFINTEA 6 Agenda

- Michael Samlowski, DVV International

MS Bochynek had conveyed information about the latest news concerning the CONFINTEA 6 – the conference to follow up the UN Education For All (EFA) and Lifelong learning goals.
Micheal Samlowski from Germany informed that CONFINTEA 6 will take place in May 2009 in Brazil. The theme will be “Bring new Momentum”, probably as a reaction to the known results of the midterm review of EFA. The conference will be a government conference 2nd degree, meaning that NGOs will not have a place there. NGOs can only gain access to the conference through the national UNESCO national organisations. But there is always an option to take part in the consultations to be organised in connection to the preparation process.
Regional conferences will be held in Africa, Asia, South America and Europe. In Europe the conference will take place in Hungary in December 2008. Already in March 2008 the country reports to be part of the Mid term review material will have to be submitted.

We have a lot to celebrate

- Alastair Thomson, NIACE

The conference had a very ambitious topic – Equal opportunities for all – but is apparent that a lot has happened in this field, meant Alastair Thompson from NIACE in the UK. In the area of equal opportunities we have a lot to celebrate in Europe, he said. He mentioned as examples women academics, that lifelong learning has offered new opportunities to many new age groups and that adult education has meant entry to education for many marginalised groups.
He commented that he missed a critical edge in connection with the presentation about consumer education. Consumer education has a moral dimension and is linked to community education and anti-poverty education.

He also wanted to remind the audience that there were areas of equality avoided in the presentations and discussions
• Homophobia
• Training for HBT
• Religion

In connection to the last point he touched upon the ambivalence towards the Turkish membership of the European Union. Do we have a Eurocentric view on religion? If so What does this mean for regions like Kossovo, Israel/Palestine and Cyprus.

More equal than others?

Lidwien Vos de Wael, Dutch platform for non-formal education

With bringing in adult educators into an Orwellian wordplay Lidwien de Wael started her personal reflections about the conference. It had brought many nice conversations. The Open Space session gave food for thoughts and Lidwien had entered and enjoyed an interesting  discussion on prison education. 
Many parts of the program had in ad modum Freire made the content relevant to the learners and even more – made the learners visible: especially the story of the learner Fredrik and the performance by the deaf quire during the Grundtvig Award Ceremony.
She concluded by stating that the Action Plan is very important. It’s never too late to learn and it’s never too late to make adult learning and adult education programs better!

Closing Session

Antra Carlsen, head coordinator of NVL – Nordic network for adult learning – and chair of the day, completed the interactive conference in a very convincing way. The contributions made by the parallel workshops had been built in and elaborated in the Final statement from the conference. It was now presented to the audience and each group had a chance to approve how their points had been supplemented into the statement. The result of this process can be read in the final statement here.

Michael Samlowski
Michael Samlowski.

Alastair Thomson
Alastair Thomson.

Lidwien Vos de Wael
Lidwien Vos de Wael.

Antra Carlsen
Antra Carlsen.

Final Statement as downloadable