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Recent Events in Serbia
Training in advocacy for the community learning initiatives

Belgrade, December 2015. A series of workshops, organized within the framework of the IX Adult Learning Festival, ended with a three-day workshop on advocacy. Adult Education Society prepared the training program prepared in cooperation with Foundation “Trag”, while Snežana Stojanović facilitated the training. The workshop held at the Centre for Culture and Sports “Šumice” and in the Adult Education Society, was attended by 20 representatives of 15 organizations that organize noncommercial learning activities in the community. The aim of the training was to improve knowledge and skills of participants to publicly advocate for community initiatives. They worked on specific examples, so that during the three days group developed basic elements of two projects of public advocacy: Opening of the first community learning center in Belgrade and Part of the Soko Society building return. Including the Festival central event and the preparatory partners meeting, this was the sixth meeting of partner organizations, which further strengthened the spirit of unity and partnership in this group of organizations. Next steps will include further development of the two projects and start of campaigns of advocacy in 2016.


- Picture: Discussion on workshop's results, Belgrade -

Adult Education Scoiety became the member of "Humanas" Network

humanasBelgrade, December 2015. At the annual meeting of the Association Humanas, with majority of votes it was decided that the Adult Education Society receives the call to join the Association. The Network "Humanas" is the largest national network of humanitarian organizations and associations dealing with elderly. It was established at the initiative of the Red Cross of Serbia in 2004, and it’s members are also: Gerontological Society of Serbia, Caritas, DFSPC Philanthropy, Amity, Victoria, Swallow, Society for care of the elderly, the National Foundation for Humane Old Age, University of the Third Age, Circle of Serbian Sisters, Bread of Life, Association of pensioners... Given that lifelong learning is essential for a healthy and active aging Adult Education Society will make a significant contribution to the Network by providing expertise in the area of adult learning, and disseminate relevant information in this field at the European and global level. On the other hand, admission to the Network Humanas is the best confirmation for fifteen years of studious work in the field of third age learning, but also a huge responsibility in the future of the Society.

UNESCO’s Institute for Lifelong Learning call

Belgrade, December 2015. The emphasis of Adult Learning Festival in Serbia, since 2014 is on supporting learning in communities and their networking into the learning city. This original bottom-up concept is complementary with UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities top-to-bottom concept. UNESCO initiative supports the practice of lifelong learning by promoting policy dialogue and peer learning among member cities. This Network forges links, fosters partnerships, provides capacity development, and develops tools and instruments to encourage and recognize progress achieved in realizing the vision of lifelong learning. Adult Learning Festival in Serbia, as the original model was presented at the 2nd International Conference on Learning Cities, held in Mexico City in October this year. A month later director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), Arne Karlsen, sent invitation letter to the mayor of Belgrade, Siniša Mali, for Belgrade to join the Global Network of Learning Cities. The efforts of the Adult Education Society in lifelong learning promotion, as well as cooperation with UIL are particularly emphasized in the letter. We sincerely hope that the city government will respond positively to this invitation and that City of Belgrade will, in this prestigious company, through exchanges with other cities, begin to improve conditions that lifelong learning give its full contribution to the development of Belgrade and the quality of life of its inhabitants.

Promotion of the poetry book “Sailing Through Life”

Belgrade, December 2015. Promotion of the poetry book “Sailing Through Life” was organized on December 17th in the Red Cross Belgrade. The book presented collection of poems created on literary workshop of Red Cross municipality “Savski venac” as part of the program of self-aid third age groups. The workshop has been running since 2010 and led by retired teacher of Serbian language and literature Ružica Ćalić. At the promotion nine seniors, the authors of poems, were reading the poems, while the psychologist and psychiatrist, Svetlana Vukadinović, spoke about importance of creative activities and friendship among third aged population for healthy aging. The book was published by Adult Education Society and Red Cross Belgrade, for the purpose of promotion of community learning initiatives and celebration of educational achievements of adults during IX Adult Learning Festival.


- Picture: The authors at the book promotion, Belgrade -

AE-PRO e-training attracted thousands of adult educators

ae pro color web-01Brussels, December 2015. The The final session of the 'European e-training for Adult Educators', organised by the AE-PRO project between May and December 2015, was held on 15th of December 2015. During the eight months of the training over 5,300 people registered to the AE-learning platform.

The main aim of AE-PRO project is to create a learning platform and offer e-training about European developments and adult education European countries for adult education staff.

“The popularity of the e-training surprised the project consortium. It shows that a European e-learning hub for adult educators was clearly needed,” says Policy Officer Tania Berman from the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA), the organisation behind the project.

Juhani Pörtfors, a retired head of adult education centre from Finland, took the entire course.

“My motivation to participate the AE-PRO e-training was to gain an understanding on European adult education in theoretical, political and practical levels,” he tells.

He found the AE-PRO e-training as a unique chance to communicate with other adult educators from around Europe.
“I have realized that adult education structures vary in different countries but at the same time we have very much in common. It has been great to see that there are enlightened adult educators and active associations everywhere in Europe who are sincerely promoting the interests of the citizens.”

The AE-PRO project consortium will organise a second e-training in 2016. More information will follow in February.


The European Adult Education (Young) Professionals Learning Platform (AE-PRO) project offers a capacity building e-training for (younger) staff in adult education about European developments and adult education in other countries.

We aim to increase the knowledge of staff about adult education in Europe and increase the exchange of innovation across Europe through intergenerational learning, and the learning of experts as well as peers. We also aim to provide opportunities for the professional development and training of staff in adult education through the coordinated use of Erasmus+ mobilities.

Conference “Building Bridges in Adult Education”

Ljubljana, December 2015. Slovenian Institute for Adult Education in cooperation with the Slovenian Andragogical Association, Association of Providers in Education and Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Education Programs organized in Ljubljana in the period 7-8.12.2015 a regional conference "Building Bridges in Adult Education". Adult Education Society (AES) as a contact organization from Serbia was invited to bring together relevant partners in Serbia and organize their arrival. Apart representative of AES Serbian delegation consisted of representatives of Group of Andragogy, Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, Serbian Association of Andragogists and Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatian, Kosovo and Macedonia, also sent delegations with representatives of all relevant institutions and organizations. After the conference "Quality in Adult Education and Staff Professionalization" in Budva in November 2014, this is the first regional conference, which brought together this broad group of national representatives and allow to exchange experiences and to compare the current state of adult education in the region and seek opportunities for networking and cooperation. The first day of the conference was devoted to the presentation of the situation in the region, and on the second day, through the work of the thematic working groups, further analysis of experiences and activities related to specific topics and areas were organized. As an example of good practice conference participants visited Culinary and Tourism Centre KULT316, of the Biotechnical Educational Centre of Ljubljana. Although the meeting had no thematic focus, thus no concrete agreements and results could be expected, a high level of enthusiasm and very positive energy marked the whole event and all participants agreed that such a gathering should become common practice. In this regard, the decision was made right at the meeting that our region will continue to build bridges in adult education next summer, 2016 in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


- Picture: Serbina delegation, Ljubljana -

The final ceremony of the IX Adult Learning Festival

Belgrade, November 2015. The final ceremony of the IX Adult Learning Festival is organized in ImpactHUB in Belgrade on December 3rd, 2015. This year the Festival is organized under the motto "Everyone can learn everything he wants and everyone can teach." During the Festival, numerous visitors had the opportunity to introduce different organizers of non-profit learning activities in Belgrade, through the introductory presentation, the collage film about learning in the community, and then through workshops organized at the event. It was an opportunity to experience the learning through psychological workshops, poetry workshops, studio photography, dance studio, workshop organic farming, decoupage, drawing on canvas ... After this session, the idea of Community Learning Centre was presented, and then during a cocktail visitors had a chance to create their own Community Learning Centre, in accordance with their wishes and needs, but also in accordance with their abilities and talents, because the idea of the Community Learning Centre it based on resources in the community. The results of these activities will be analysed and used for the design of the development strategy of the first Community Learning Centre in Belgrade, which will be organized on a workshop that will be held in late December. IX Adult Learning Festival is closed with magnificent, intergenerational performance of two choirs. The choir of Elementary school "Drinka Pavlović" and the choir of Gerontology Daily centre "Aging Forbidden!" jointly sang several songs including the EKV’s song "This is the country for us". One of the key indicators about the need for Community Learning Centre in Belgrade is presence of more than 250 people in the Festival closing ceremony.


- Picture: Adult Learning Festival the final ceremony, Belgrade -

Press conference on IX Adult Learning Festival in Belgrade

Belgrade, December 2015. In the Media Center Belgrade the press conference was organized on the occasion of the central ceremony of IX Adult Learning Festival in Belgrade. Adult Education Society announced the ceremony and presented a new concept for learning in community. The initiatives that AES starts with network of partner organizations. The Festival program, partners and interactive educational programs were presented to journalists. Beside the journalists the conference also attended the representatives of the Education Center of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and they have declared willingness to cooperate and participate in the work of the Community Learning Centre.


- Picture: Adult Education Society representatives at Media centre Belgrade -

Support to the Functional Elementary Education of Adults programme

Belgrade, December 2014. Adult Education Society, for the second year in a row, supported programme of Functional Elementary Education of Adults (FEEA) in Serbia. In Jun AES has offered the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development support to programme worth € 10,000, assuming that according to the program needs, additional training for teachers will be organized. By the end of the year still no conditions for the organization of additional training existed, therefore it was decided to support the FEEA programme through the donation of the manuals for students. There is still no mechanism for providing these manuals for schools, and since these are the only material for programme participants the manuals are prerequisite for successful implementation of the programme. Nearly 60 schools were contacted and 38 of them sent requests. AES responded positively on all request and manuals were printed and distributed to larger centres. With this year's donation 2160 participants of the program FEEA were supported.

Donacija FOOO

Innovative methods and programs in the field of daily community services for the elderly

Belgrade, November 2015. Adult Education Society participated in preparation and organization of the expert meeting "Innovative methods and programs in the field of daily community services for the elderly” The event was hosted by Gerontology Centre Belgrade, and held in elderly house “Bežanijska kosa” in Belgrade on 30th of November. The manifestation was organized for social workers employed in gerontology centres in Serbia with the aim to present innovative methods and programs in the field of daily community services for seniors. The Gerontology Centre Belgrade, one of the key partners for Community Learning Centre initiative, recognized the significance of the education and learning of seniors and invited AES to supplement the content of the event and assist in its implementation. AES’s associatespresented in three working sessions a theoretical framework for understanding elderly learning and education. Then the participants were shown a video collage about community learning with examples of good practice. A special session was dedicated to interactive workshop about possible design of the Centre for Community Learning. After summarizing and presenting the workshop results participants were encouraged to launch initiatives by short movie on self-sustained learning community from the United States, but also by discussion and exchange of experience.


- Picture: The discussion after introductory lecture, Belgrade -

The 4th AE-PRO partner meeting

Lisbon, November 2015. The 4th AE-PRO partner meeting was organized in Lisbon on 26th and 27th of November by partner organization from Portugal, Kerigma. The working day started with an open discussion about partner’s experiences on running the webinars. Furthermore, the results and the main outcomes of the project were presented. The first AE-PRO e-training was conducted between May and December 2015 and over 5300 adult education professionals have registered as users to the platform. Bearing on mind that the last session for this e-training will be organized on 15th of December on the meeting the partners talk about the future and the second e-training which will be organized in 2016. Representatives of Adult Education Society (AES) presented the general results of the participant’s evaluation of the sessions. For this report also was used participant’s self-reflections about learning process within each session and data that platform collected automatically about users. Also, the decisions about final evaluation were made and responsibilities for the next year defined.


- Members of AE-PRO project consortium, Lisbon -

Photo: Flemming Gjedde

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