Local community leaders from different regions of Belarus came together to develop local adult education strategies for the next three years. This was made possible thanks to the Summer Academy for representatives of adult education centers and initiative groups of learning cities, which took place on August 15-17, 2019 in Volozhinsky district. The Academy was organized by DVV International in Belarus.
- The topic of adult education is becoming more and more popular in Belarus: there is already a legislative framework, but still there is not enough infrastructure to make adult education available for every person, especially in small towns and villages. Therefore, it is very important that more adult education centers are created in regions and more Belarusian towns and cities are joining Global Network of Learning Cities, - said Galina Veremeychik, the Head of the DVV International in Belarus.
Adult education centers should become a place where local people can get the skills they need, a professional advice on other educational opportunities in their region, consultations on developing of their own initiatives. What is special about adult education centers is that they are designed specifically for the needs of the local population. Before offering a new educational course, organizers make a research of people's educational needs. One will need a computer literacy course, the other one a training on organic farming, the third one - a business program. So educational topics are not limited and for each course a new trainer is carefully selected.
Another initiative for adult education, that is becoming popular in Belarus is a conception of a Learning city. The Learning city makes a voluntary commitment to create a sustainable system for lifelong education in the city. At the same time, a specific action plan of how to create this system should be adopted at the level of the city administration. For example, one of the important components of the learning cities are educational festivals, which help to inspire adults to continue education study, return the taste for knowledge and their own development.
Any city in the world can join UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. Participation in the international network helps the city to adopt the experience of colleagues from other cities, to develop common solutions to global challenges in the field of education. In Belarus Vitebsk has becоme the first learning city, which joined Global Network of Learning Cities. Learning cities' initiative groups from Minsk, Gomel, Smorgon, Slutsk, Krasnopol, Zelva are also developing their strategies at the moment.