Romanian youth NGO "Tinerii Secolului XXI" is looking for partner organizations
for a new Youth in Action project, action 5.1 entitled "Non-formal education:
paths to social recognition". Further details about the project can be found
During the last years a number of initiatives have been taken at different
levels (European, national, sub-national, industry, third sector) supporting the
development of new approaches to validation of non-formal and informal learning.
Validation of non formal and informal learning has been identified as a European
priority on repeated occasions, including the Communication on Lifelong Learning
(2001), the Education Council Decision Concrete future objectives for European
education and training systems (2002), the White Paper on Youth policies (2002)
and the Copenhagen Declaration (2002)
A set of 'Common European Principles' for the validation of non-formal and
informal learning have been developed by the Commission in collaboration with a
range of partners. This political emphasis on validation was further
strengthened by an initiative to organize an informal ministerial conference on
the subject in June 2004. These initiatives reflect the strong political
momentum existing in this particular policy field and make the inventory project
highly relevant for forming current and future policy debates at European,
national and other decision-making levels
Learning is a continuous and life-long process. It is not restricted to schools
There are in fact three different kinds of learning:
· Formal learning, which is given in schools – ex: mathematics class (=
· Non-Formal learning, happens in any organization outside the formal system
(e.g. youth organizations) – ex: learn how to organize an event (= doing)
· Informal learning, in every kind of context – ex: learn how to drive a bike
The recognition of non formal education is discussed during among others an
UNESCO conference in 1992 and later incorporated by the EU in the Lisbon
strategy in 2000. This strategy is further continued by the implementation of
European Youth Pactto achieve its objectives.
The recognition of NFE can take different forms:
Political recognitionis the legitimacy given to youth organizations by a
political commitment. It can be improved by e.g. supporting the work of youth
organizations and recognizing them as bodies representing youth.
Social recognitionis the recognition given by communities to the contribution of
voluntary work. In many cases, young people’s involvement in youth work and the
related skills and competencies acquired in non-formal learning environments are
not sufficiently recognized.
This remains a challenge for youth organizations in attracting volunteers and
participants, and for those who do volunteer, a range of hurdles in creating
opportunities based on recognition of their contribution appears. In some cases,
volunteering is seen as an unnecessary waste of time.
There is a low level of awareness on the benefits that volunteering brings to
Achievement of social recognition of non-formal education means placing
voluntary work as one of the key assets for the development of civil society,
and its contribution to the development of skills, knowledge and attitudes
gained through voluntary work by young people. That is why we have to work on
more recognition of the benefits of NFE both to individual and the society.
Individual recognition means acknowledging the real competencies, i.e. a
person’s combined knowledge, skills and learning achievements, whether they are
acquired in a formal, non-formal or informal way. In other words focusing on the
individual more than on the degrees he obtained.
In November 2001, the European Commission has written the white paper ‘A New
Impetus For European Youth’, describing the innovative impact of youth work as
part of the overall package of lifelong learning measures and demands: a clearer
definition of the concepts, of the skills acquired and of quality standards, a
higher regard for the people who become involved in these activities, a greater
recognition of these activities, and a greater complementarily with formal
education and training. The Council of Europe decides in 2003 to develop the
‘Portfolio for youth leaders and youth workers’, which gives a real opportunity
to self evaluate the achievements of a strong involvement in youth
In December 2004, the European Parliament and the Council agreed on a single
Community framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences,
called Europass, made of five components: CV - Mobility - Diploma Supplement
Certificate Supplement, and Language Passport.
From 2005, the SALTO Training and Co-operation Resource Centre is working on
development and implementation of a special European level validation instrument
for Youth in Action, the Youth Pass, a certificate issued after youth activities
organized through the Youth in Action programme. It supports the reflection on
the personal non-formal learning process, the social recognition of youth work
and the employability of young people and youth workers. It is officially
launched in June 2007, together with the Portfolio for youth leaders and youth
Even all those initiatives exists, we think is not enough in order for non
formal education to be recognized at local level. The present project proposal
tries to “give the floor” and raise attention on the importance of social
recognition of NFE at local level. We will try to involve different stakeholders
from different “layers” of the society during project activities.
The overall purpose of the project is to promote a society offering lifelong
learning for all by emphasizing the importance of both formal and non-formal
learning in achieving Education for All goals, and building bridges between
formal, non-formal and informal learning.
The project seeks to contribute to the following objectives:
· To promote the recognition of young people’s skills and learning acquired
through participation in youth work activities;
· To raise the visibility of youth work, its impact on young people’s lives
and its contribution to society;
· To enhance the social recognition of youth work in society;
· Raise awareness about different levels of recognition of youth work in
· Share and discuss experiences, examples and possibilities of working
towards recognition in different societies.
The main activity that this project proposes is a transnational youth seminar
aimed to address the above mentioned issues, exchange good practices in
participating countries related to social recognition of non-formal education
and to propose viable solutions that can be applied at local level. The meeting
which is planned to take place in April 2011 for a maximum of 6 working days
should be attended by aproximatively 40 participants, youth workers, young
people and different stakeholders interested by the topic of the project.
Before the meeting, national online consultations will take place in all partner
countries. That is planned in order to seek for people opinion and to look for
possible solutions offered at local level. The results of these consultations
will be presented during the seminar and also will be included in the draft
document containing conclusions and recommendations that should be drafted as a
result of the seminar and presented to European Commission as well as national
stakeholders (governments, ministries, etc).
A good practices database with identified European initiatives that address
social recognition of NFE will be realizes. This database will be available
online as well on hard copies that will be printed.
Right now we are looking for 10 partner organizations from the following
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia,
Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain Sweden,Turkey and United Kingdom.
If you are interested by the topic of this project and you want to take part,
please send us attached part III, dully signed and stamped, as scan copy, by
) no later than August 22th 2010. We will get back to you
and let you know.
More details about the project can be found here...
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