Considering the importance of adult and non-formal education as an instrument to foster the participation of the people in cultural, social, economic, and sustainable development, and in poverty reduction, DVV International Georgia Country Office is annually organising study visits of Adult and Community Education Center representatives and municipality leaders to Germany.
Study visit to Germany in October 2019 aimed at sharing the German experience of work of VHS in Germany, educational projects on work with a local population including vulnerable groups to attract them to the process of education and popularising the concept of Lifelong Learning and non-formal education.
In a weeklong study trip to Germany in October 2019, the following organisations were represented in the visit:
Head of Adult Education Division under the Vocational Education Department of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, Khoni Municipality Mayor, Khoni Adult Education Center Director, Kharagauli Municipality Chairwoman of City Council (Sakrebulo), Kharagauli Adult Education Center Director, Koda Community Education Center Director, Shaumiani Community Education Center Director and DVV International Georgia representative.
The first meeting of the study trip took place in Munich at the Bavarian Association of Adult Education Centers (BVV). BVV unites more than 200 Adult Education providers in Bavaria. The Georgian delegation was introduced with the activities and services of BVV that are completely based on the surveys and the needs of the people of Bavaria.
The means of financing, state support, strategy on Adult Education, and further learning was the main topic of the presentation and the later discussions that took place at the Bavarian Parliament, during the meeting with Dr. Gerhard Hopp (MdL) member of the budget committee in the Bavarian State Parliament. The meeting was one of the most interesting and interactive during the visit.
The delegation was later hosted by the vocational school in the District Cham. The presentation was accompanied by the tour and sightseeing of the institution. The presentation covered information about the offered educational classes and management of the Vocational school, identification of needs, financing, and institutional support from private and public entities of the District Cham. The meeting was particularly of special interest for the representative of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia.
The importance of vocational, adult and non-formal education for the development of the small towns and rural areas was the main topic of discussion with the mayor of Furth im Wald, Mr. Sandro Bauer during the meeting at the newly established local Vocational School. As underlined by the mayor, financial and political support of education, means the development of the local economy, solving social challenges, attracting investments, and improving the general wellbeing of the citisens.
As it was later put by the Mayor of Khoni Mr. Lado Jurkhadze, “The study visit provided important information and experience. We were able to observe firsthand the specifics of working in Adult and Vocational Education. It was an additional inspiration for me to increase further support and initiatives to support education in Khoni Municipality. The municipality will support every activity that is aimed at improving vocational education for youth and adults.”
Special gratitude went to the partner organisation VHS Cham who made it possible to organise all the above-mentioned important and substantive meetings, presentations, and discussions. The hosting organisation provided more details about its own establishment and the whole history of the development of District Cham and adult education, from the late 80s, once a dead-end at the footsteps of the Iron Curtain, up to now - a prosperous, modern, innovative, yet full of history and traditions, a small part of Germany, in the heart of Europe.
All these activities were accompanied by a variety of cultural events that made the trip so much more interesting and enjoyable.