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Challenges: More holistic vision of continuous learning is needed

According to EAEA’s members, Finland needs a more overarching vision of continuous learning. One of the challenges recognised in non-formal adult education is the accumulation of learning to the active citizens. Thus, one of the focus areas in adult learning is outreach to under-represented groups (i.e. asylum seekers, immigrants, persons with disabilities, mental illness and the unemployed).The OECD (Continuous Learning in Working Life in Finland 2020) recommends that Finland diversifies its adult education provision to make it more relevant for working life.

Finland should also use economic incentives to encourage reskilling and upskilling. Special attention should be paid to outreach and guidance services to adults with lower basic skills. The adult learning and education sector in Finland is responding to these needs, while it waits for the continuous learning reform to provide the new policy framework and financing.  

Focus areas for 2021

Finnish civil society actors have ambitious objectives in the upcoming year, promoting adult education for all. There will be advocacy work for the local elections in spring 2021. The focus of EAEA’s member will be on social rights, inclusion, re- and upskilling and basic skill training. Furthermore, digitalisation, inclusion, outreach and access for adult learners will be a priority.

Some of the 2021 focus areas of FAEA are:

  • Strengthening the cooperation between liberal adult education researchers and field workers
  • Promotion of ecosocial bildung on a broad scope, e.g. cooperation with the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra to enhance a future-oriented debate
  • Advocacy and impact on the Educational Policy Report in Finland which will be published in 2/2021
  • Push for the recognition of non-formal learning.