Challenges: Promoting liberal education before vocationalism
The main challenge adult education providers are facing are the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many seminars and conferences were postponed and had to be moved to a digital environment. The crisis had deteriorating financial consequences for civil society. Planned mobilities had to be postponed and many adult learning partners in Greece lost their jobs, hindering learners' participation.
Dafni Kek is in the process of changing it's status from a course provider to a centre offering support and information for learning opportunities online, a bridge between people and educational institutions. Hence, they were only slightly affected by the pandemic and most of the employees were kept.
Access to open and free online resources
Another challenge for adult learning providers in Greece is supporting the less advantaged learners, who often have a negative attitude towards technologies. Dafni Kek advocates for accessible, open and free online resources, prepared specifically for less advantaged learners. Furthermore, they want the government to increase funding on outreach strategies that meet the needs of the least represented groups in education and society.
For Hellenic Adult Education Association (HAEA) the main challenge in the upcoming year is vocationalism. Education for work has become mainstream policy, while general and liberal adult education is neglected and given limited funding and opportunities to expand. As digitalisation is becoming a new reality, HAEA draws attention to the importance of civic adult education, critical thinking and promoting social transformation. The fundamental pillars of adult learning should not be overruled by vocational education.
Lowering barriers to adult education
At the time of EAEA’s survey (summer 2020) HAEA has not defined their focus for 2020/2021 yet. Dafni Kek’s focus will be on lowering barriers to access adult education, foster education on citizenship, life skills, sustainability and advocate for free and more investment in distance education. Drafting recommendations to the Greek governments, both organisations advocate for more funding and institutional support to revitalize and enhance visibility and recognition of adult education.