Communities throughout Ukraine face numerous socio-economic, demographic, and educational challenges that affect their future. Informal adult education has the potential to address socio-economic problems of different nature and can be a valuable resource for sustainable community development.
May 8, 2018, the seminar "Adult education as the resource for community development" was conducted in collaboration with the Kyiv regional branch of the Ukrainian Association of local authorities "Association of Ukrainian cities", NGO "International Center for non-formal education" and Ukrainian Association of Adult Education. The workshop took place in the premises of the Kyiv regional state administration. The participants of the seminar were the heads and representatives of local self-government bodies of the Kyiv region and local activists.
The goal of the seminar was to create conditions for cooperation between local authorities of Kyiv region and non-governmental organizations working in the field of non-formal adult education at the local level and to promote the idea of lifelong education and increasing educational opportunities for a diverse population of the region.
The program of the seminar included the presentation of Volkshochschulen experience in German presented by experienced German expert Ingrid Scholl from the city of Bonn. City heads and their deputies, heads of departments of education, representatives of NGOs, who successfully co-operate with local self-government in the field of adult education from the cities of Sumy, Bucha, Skole, Melitopol, Nikopol and Halitsyniv amalgamated community presented their experience of cooperation in the development of adult education at the local level.
Local self-government representatives who already have experience in developing adult education structures have noted many positive effects for their cities and villages. People change their attitude to community life, learn new skills, start small businesses, get acquainted with other residents, neighbors, which helps to revitalize economic and social life.
At the event, various models of development and funding by local authorities in adult education in their communities were discussed. Types of support by local authorities that were most often mentioned include: providing of free premises, purchasing equipment, furniture, paying for utilities, creating staff units in local self-government, financing educational courses. Particular attention was paid to the presentation of social procurement experience as a more efficient and rational mechanism for spending budget funds.
As a result of presentations and discussions, the participants of the workshop agreed that, with even the financial capacity and resources that they have now enable the opportunities to support and develop adult education courses in general. In a detailed analysis, communities can find many existing infrastructure objects such as functioning buildings, cultural and educational institutions that can be supplemented or re-profiled in accordance with the challenges of time; available financial resources can be used more efficiently and effectively; involvement of non-governmental organizations, local businesses and volunteers is important tool of strengthening adult education system.