Report EFEE Peer Learning Visit to Slovenia

5-6 November 2019

On 5-6 November 2019, the second Peer Learning Visit of the joint EFEE-ETUCE project on “Lifelong Learning for All: Inclusive Vocational Education and Training ” took place in Ljubljana. The event was hosted and co-organised by the Association of Secondary and Vocational School Headmasters of Slovenia (member of EFEE). In total, 18 members from both EFEE and ETUCE from Belgium (GO!), Finland (AFIEE & OAJ), Germany (BBB), Ireland (ETBI), the Netherlands (MBORaad), Portugal (ANESPO & FNE), and Slovenia (DR) participated in the PLV.

The integration of migrants through lifelong learning in VET
The refugee crisis has resulted in many European countries having to welcome a historic amount of migrants and refugees in the last couple of years. In order to integrate these migrants as best as possible and prepare them for their future lives in the host country, governments have had to find the most efficient way to this. Several European countries have found that vocational education and training is one of the most effective tools to achieve this for children and adults alike since it aligns more with their already existing skills than general education. The focus of the second PLV in this project was therefore the integration of migrants through lifelong learning in VET.

The first day of the PLV was opened by a visit to the Ljubljana Public Education Centre  – Cene Štupar which offers courses on all levels of education to adult refugees and migrants. Our participating members got the opportunity to not only learn more about the workings of this education centre through several very informative presentations and the sharing of best practices but also to go into the different classrooms and meet the students and teachers. These interactions led to interesting group discussions amongst the participants about the motivation of students, the promotion of a learning culture for students and teachers alike, the efficient cooperation between the different relevant ministeries, and career guidance for the most vulnerable groups.

On the second day, our participants were welcomed at the School Center Ljubljana (European School of Ljubljana), where participants gained new insights from the practical experience of the Inspectorate of the Republic of Slovenia for Education and Sport and from the policy knowledge of the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. These presentations highlighted the need for continuous teacher training in order to develop an efficient and effective lifelong learning approach. In the following discussion groups it was, however, stressed that a drastic change in the attitude of teachers and school heads is necessary in order to achieve this since many participants addressed the lack of motivation from the aforementioned groups to participate in lifelong learning themselves.

On 4 November 2019, a meeting was held by EFEE’s Advisory Group for this project. In total 11 participants from Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Slovenia came together to discuss the state of affairs and aims of this project as well as to address the possibility of a follow-up project.