26.10.2012 -

The UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels and the European Youth Forum push for recognition of non-formal education


On the occasion of the “Non-Formal Education Week”, organized by the European Youth Forum, the UNESCO Liaison Office in Brussels hosted the first day of this event. Mrs. Marie-Paule Roudil, Head of the Liaison Office and UNESCO Representative to the European Union, welcomed the Forum which for the first time visited the UN House in Brussels. As youth is a crucial vector for UNESCO, Head of the Office, Mrs. Roudil, shortly introduced the long tradition of cooperation between UNESCO and different Youth NGO’s.

The aim of the European Youth Forum during this week is to stress the wide potential and the pivotal role played by youth organizations in delivering non-formal education. Moreover, the Youth Forum hopes that its message about the importance of non-formal training systems for young people resonates in next month’s European Union ministers of Education meeting.

Furthermore, Mrs. Marie-Paule Roudil stressed the necessity to rethink the nature and role of education and training systems in contributing to a more equitable and sustainable pattern of human development. In this prospect, UNESCO has played an important role by developing a vision of lifelong learning for all. Lifelong learning covers the full range of provision of learning opportunities, from early childhood to further and higher education. However, it extends beyond formal education to non-formal and informal learning for out-of-school youth and adult citizens. The added value of these non-formal learning activities is that they result in a variety of skills, ranging from economically beneficial and socially useful skills, to skills for self-development.

In recent years, some Member States have developed mechanisms for the recognition, validation and accreditation (RVA) of non-formal and informal learning, and many more are in the process of doing so. The RVA of non-formal and informal learning is indeed gaining relevance with regard to education and training policy.

In her speech, Mrs. Roudil further emphasized that non-formal learning is of increasing importance in relation to themes such as poverty reduction, job creation, employability, and social inclusion. Therefore, Mrs. Roudil strongly encouraged the Youth Forum and the European representatives working in the field to develop and reinforce their cooperation with UNESCO in order to contribute to a sustainable human development model.

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