Report from the European Prison Education Association

By Behan, Cormac | Journal of Correctional Education, March 2007 | Go to article overview

Report from the European Prison Education Association


Behan, Cormac, Journal of Correctional Education


European Prison Education Association International Conference 2007

The 11th European Prison Education Association (EPEA) International Conference will take place in Dublin, Ireland from the 13th to 17th June 2007, Inclusive. The preparations for the conference are proceeding and we have been vastly over-subscribed. On behalf of the organizing committee, I would like to thank ail those who applied to attend the conference. We had nearly three hundred applicants. Unfortunately, we are not in a position to facilitate any more than 150 delegates. We apologize sincerely to ail those who we could not offer places and should a place become available we shall contact you immediately. The conference reports, including all workshop papers will be accessible after the conference on the EPEA website, www.epea.org.

Adult Education and Prison Education in Europe

Prison education In Europe is based on an adult education model. This Is clearly stated in the Council of Europe Recommendations on Education in Prison (1990) that I have referred to in previous reports. It states that "the education of prisoners must, in its philosophy, methods and content, be brought as close as possible to the best adult education in the society outside (COE, 1990: 8). Therefore any new policy initiatives in that area of adult education can impact on the activities of prison educators in Europe. In October 2006, the European Union Commission adopted a new Communication on Adult Learning. It is titled: Adult Learning: It is never too late to learn!

The communication is the first major policy document on Adult Learning since the Communication "Making a European Area of Lifelong Learning a Reality' was published in 2001.

The newly adopted Communication will shape the policy of the European Union in the future. It includes five key messages and suggestions for action as summarized below.

An efficient adult learning system and its integration into national lifelong learning strategies is a message that the European Commission conveys to Member States through the new policy document. To help this process, the Commission is proposing to launch an Action Plan on Adult Learning in 2007. The Action Plan, which will be produced together with the Member States, will consider the following five key challenges in adult learning:

* Lift the barriers to participation. Adult participation in education and training remains limited and imbalanced, with those with the lowest levels of initial education, older people, people in rural areas, and the disabled being the least likely to participate. Member States should introduce high-quality guidance and information systems, as well as targeted financial incentives for individuals and support for local partnerships. …

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