“Folkbildning” and Education for Sustainability

In Malmo, Sweden, the International Council on Adult Education (ICAE) Global Assembly got underway today with a special welcome from the mayor of the city who explained that over the last 30 years the city went through a transformation from an industrial city producing primarily ships into a sustainable city of knowledge with 50%of the population under 45 and looking towards the future.
“Transformation” is one of the buzz words at the ICAE Assembly which with its focus on Nordic “folkbildning” or popular adult learning and education. The “city of knowledge” embraces the concepts being promoted at the Assembly, mainly those of lifelong learning and education for sustainability. The sessions, life the people of Malmo (174 nationalities are represented), are quite diverse, but they are focused around the four main themes of the Assembly:
1 – Adult Education as a Right and a Profession – following-up on the nternational Agreements, the MDGs, the Education For All (EFA) goals and the CONFINTEA Agenda;
2 – Lifelong Learning (LLL) for Sustainability in a Climate Changing World;
3 – No Right to Decent Work without the Right to Learn;
4 – Nordic Folkbildning and Worldwide Challenges.
In a preparatory meeting yesterday prior to the start of the ICAE assembly, the Gender Education Office (GEO), which is the “gender advocacy” arm within the ICAE structure, brought together about 60 participants from around the world to
strategize and develop a set of proposals and advocacy actions to feed into the Assembly. GEO is a FTF partner which brings a strong educational component into poverty discussions.
The outputs of the GEO Women’s Consultation stressed 4 -5 points under each of the four main themes of the Assembly. To highlight some, included were,
but not limited to proposals of gender inclusion for the Assembly declaration,
follow-up and evaluate indicators and benchmarks on education and equity
regarding climate change (CC), election of at least two women onto the board of
ICAE, strengthen advocacy and education on gender and Climate Change
negotiations. As FTF member, Luisa Cruz Hefti, also attending the conference, has highlighted in a previous message to the FTF,  “women stressed the, ‘Gender Equality for the right to education, and the right to education for Gender Equality.’  Other points will be introduced to the declaration tomorrow with  a reports and other update available on the ICAE website: http://www.icae2.org/

At the morning session Gita Sen provided the keynote speech, weaving personal history with feminist analysis of a ferocious world, leading us points of departure and connection. Her audio speech could be accessed at: http://aworldworthlivingin.da.ottoboni.se/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Gita-Sen.pdf

— Reported by Rosa Lizarde, FTF Global Coordinator, in Malmo, Sweden

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