May 2018

How local authorities can support adult education

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.

 

 

Within our recent seminar "Adult education as the resource for community development", the city mayors, their deputies, heads of departments of education, representatives of NGOs, which successfully co-operate with local self-government in the city, presented their experience in supporting the development of adult non-formal education at the local level. this area.

Adult education helps the community to develop and address socio-economic issues. For a stable and systematic work, resources are always needed: human, financial, material and intangible.

In Ukraine, there are already examples of fruitful cooperation between local authorities and non-governmental organizations on the development of non-formal adult education structures

In the city of Bucha, Kyiv region, the city authorities support adult education courses in Bucha adult education center "Logos". The initiator of the creation was the local NGO "Call of Generations".

The forms of support that local self-government provides in Bucha:

  • study rooms;
  • payment of utility costs and energy resources;
  • furniture for study rooms;
  • computer monitors;
  • equipment maintenance;
  • provision of classes by technical staff;
  • repair and adaptation of premises;
  • training/retraining of managers and trainers

In the process of developing adult education providers, it is important to collaborate with local educational and cultural institutions (libraries, museums, school buildings, universities, etc.), local businesses. This process is called networking.

For conducting courses in Bucha the premises of the school are used, as well as other premises suitable for the organization of training. Local enterprises are involved in the support of certain courses: the payment of trainers fees, the provision for use during the training of materials and technical means, the further employment of course students.

At the seminar, deputy mayor of Bucha Sergiy Shepetko stressed the positive effect of adult education on community life

This effect is measured by the better assessment of the standard of living of people in the community, improvement of the employment situation, development of entrepreneurship, and hence of tax revenues. During his presentation, Sergiy Shepetko noted that local residents are now asking local authorities to help expand the list of new courses, and presented plans for the city in the field of adult education development:

  • Development and implementation of the adult education strategy of Bucha amalgamated territorial community
  • Creation of an adult education center in Bucha, as a separate structural unit based on the library of Bucha, at the expense of the local budget;
  • Creation of a network of centers for adult education in Bucha;
  • Creation of educational spaces and thematic centers based in schools, cultural buildings, libraries: Art Space; Sports and entertainment space; Social space; Center of foreign languages; Center for Conscious Paternity; Center for Civic Education.

Halitsyniv amalgamated territorial community in Mykolaiv region has a similar approach. The needs study of residents, the results of the courses organized by NGO “South Initiative” supported by international donors, and development of community strategy have shown that the supporting the structures that provide adult education courses on an ongoing basis can seriously help improve community well-being. That is why the adopted strategy for the development of Halytsyniv community 2018-26 foresees the creation of an adult education center and a youth center based on libraries’ premises. Establishment of these centers is carried out jointly with community activists, residents, experts and material support of international organizations and donors.

Social services contracting is an effective tool for spending budget funds

In the Sumy region, there are different practices in financing adult education.

The practice of announcing the tender for providing social services is actively developing at the initiative of information and communication department of the Sumy Regional State Administration. The calculations have shown a more effective use of budget funds when non-state providers provide social services.

In 2017, the Sumy Regional Council approved the Regional Target Social Program for addressing priority issues using the social services contracting mechanism. During the year, this mechanism has shown its effectiveness in the direction of social rehabilitation ATO veterans, working with people in difficult living conditions. In 2018, the education sector, and within its framework the adult education, has become one of the priorities of the program. Conducting a competition for providers in the framework of the social order mechanism in the future is planned to be implemented through the system of Prozorro.

As a result of presentations and joint discussions, the seminar participants agreed that, with today's financial capabilities, communities have sufficient resources to support and develop adult education structures. An audit and detailed analysis can show a lot of existing infrastructure that can be used with a new function or updated to meet current needs. There are mechanisms for more rational and efficient use of financial resources of the budget. Involving civic organizations, local businesses, volunteers and donors offer more opportunities for development, giving new ideas and resources.

Local self-government representatives who already have experience with adult education have noted many positive effects for their cities and villages

People change their attitude to participate in community life, learn new professions and skills, work or start entrepreneurship, spend time together and get to know other residents and neighbors, which helps to revive economic and social life.

Lifelong learning is becoming the lifestyle for a growing number of people, and we are sure that local authorities will intensify their support for the establishment of sustainable structures of adult education for the future of their communities.

 

 

Ukraine

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