Adult education and life long learning

A conference to launch the project ”Capacity building of human resources development in BiH“ was held on 17 November 2011 in Sarajevo.

The project has three main parts – adult education in the context of lifelong learning, improving educational statistics, and strengthening the capacity of potential applicants for grants.

Natalia Dianiskova, Head of the EU Delegation Operations section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation, said that lifelong learning is essential for clear social and economic reasons.

“The lifelong learning is critical for companies and countries to maintain their competitiveness at the globalised markets and critical for individuals to maintain and even enhance their employability in a working environment that changes at a bewildering rate.” Dianiskova said.

“Adult education is very important in BiH and in the EU. The 2020 Strategy, the EU’s growth strategy for the coming decade, focuses on education as one of five ambitious objectives and main drivers to deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion. One of the 5 targets under 2020 Strategy is that 40 percent of the total population in the age 30-34 will complete a third level education, and school drop-out rates will be reduced below 10%.”

Dianiskova said the main reason the strategy is important is that it helps countries to achieve a higher level of employment and at the same time helps to increase competitiveness.

“This is why the EU is working with institutions in BiH to carry this project forward,” she said. “We appreciate that BiH chips in and starts with aligning their reform agenda with Europe 2020 policy objectives.”

FBiH Education Minister Damir Mašić stressed the need to adopt the BiH Law on Adult Education, and he said that elements arising from the BiH law and the education strategy will be implemented at all levels of government.

“The BiH law is important because we need to implement EU standards in this field if we want to join the EU,” Mašić said.

Willem Kolthof, the project’s Team Leader for Human Resources Development, said the project would seek to strengthen the capacity of employees and increase efficiency in the labour market through institutional and strategic development of the concept of lifelong learning. He said this would be based on relevant statistical data and would contribute to the overall development of society and the promotion of economic and social cohesion. e conference was attended by representatives of relevant State, Entity and Cantonal ministries. e ”Capacity building of human resources development in BiH“ project is financed by the EU from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance in the amount of 1,185,840 Euros, and is being implemented by the Polish firm EPRD in consortium with Ifoa from Italy, CfBT from the UK and TCC from BiH.