In the past 20 years, DVV International has worked in the South Caucasus (Armenia and Georgia) to promote LLL and ALE at different levels. Lobbying for sustainable ALE structures, increasing national-level investment into ALE and LLL, raising awareness of ALE benefits and reducing participation costs, and building the capacity of ALE institutions and professionals has been the main focus of cooperation on government, institutional, and individual levels. Following the German model of ALE, 14 Adult Education centers were established in Georgia and 4 – in Armenia. They provide more than 20 000 beneficiaries yearly with multicomponent ALE programs to support their further development, employment, and increased quality of life.
To summarise and analyse activities by DVV International in the region, the International Conference "Adult Learning and Education in the South Caucasus: the milestones" was conducted on 28-29 September 2022. The DVV International Georgia office organised the Conference with DVV International Armenia and the Georgian Adult Education Network. The Conference brought together ALE experts, policy, decision-makers, and practitioners who agree that Adult Education has to be recognised as a public good. The administrative and financial authority should be strengthened to allow for greater flexibility and freedom in contributing to adult skills development. The conference participants discussed and made recommendations on how to foster reforms and build a sustainable adult education system in Armenia and Georgia based on the best European practices, including implementing targeted holistic AE activities. The Conference enacted a professional debate among stakeholders and facilitated exchange on the situation in the ALE sector worldwide and its possible influences on national opportunities in the South Caucasus. More than 80 ALE experts, policy and decision-makers, and practitioners from Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Ukraine were invited to participate.
H.E. Peter Fischer, Ambassador of Germany to Georgia, and Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Mr. Valeri Gobronidze, opened the Conference and welcomed participants.
Presentations and panel discussions were organiსed around the following topics: From Belem to Marrakech: Achievements, Gaps, and Future Perspectives; Evidence-based policymaking in ALE; ALE centers: one goal – different approaches; Quality assurance and professionalization in ALE: best practices and lessons learned.
In the framework of the Conference, two creative activities were conducted: the exhibition of Lifelong Learning and Adult Education posters and handicrafts, and other products by the ALE centers in Georgia and Armenia. In addition, participants of the Conference had an opportunity to visit the Bolnisi ALE center and get acquainted with its programmes and activities.
Media coverage of the International Conference "Adult Learning and Education in the South Caucasus: the milestones" - Georgia Today: "DVV International Georgia Hosts “Adult Learning and Education in the South Caucasus: The Milestones” International Conference"