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Challenges: Lack of consistency in adult education policies

One of the main challenges in Portugal is reaching people with low basic skills. There is an urgent demand for the implementation of the National Plan for Adult Literacy which is has not yet been implemented.

In the near future, low-skilled adults and minorities, literacy, digital literacy, and democracy and digitalisation are the focus areas for Portuguese members.

They urge for a more robust policy and practice field of adult education. A broader, inclusive policy of adult education and stability for the sector is needed to ensure lasting and impactful initiatives.

APCEP has several recommendations to the government:

  1. There should be a global and integrated public policy including the formal and the non-formal adult education. This policy should be created bottom-up with strong support and involvement of non-governmental stakeholders and adult learners.
  2. A larger commitment of national authorities in funding is needed.
  3. The stakeholders should work together to increase the participation of adult learners, particularly adults with low levels of school education and professional qualifications who lack motivation to participate.
  4. The link between existing provision (basic education/vocational education and training according to EU guidelines) and higher education provision for adult learners is critical point to be addressed in the future.
  5. The adult education policy and practice should be strengthened (including legislation, administration, coordination and quality assurance structures, local and national adult education centres and institutions).
  6. Professionalisation of adult educators should be improved, including formal recognition of higher education paths for those working in adult education, lifelong education or éducation permanente.