The theme of the 7th German Continuing Education Day on Wednesday, 26th of September 2018, was “Continuing education, strengthening society”.
Many EVBB positions have been incorporated (through our German partners) into the preparations for the numerous regional events and the opening in Berlin. At many levels, we are committed to more educational justice and participation in social life for as many people in this country as possible. For example, the German government is currently planning a law on opportunities to participate. Its aim is to ensure that the long-term unemployed are not left permanently behind, but are given access to the labour market again, for example through wage subsidies. We welcome this, of course, even though the subsidies now proposed do not go far enough for us. At the same time, we are still discussing a further training law for employees. This should increase their chances of maintaining their jobs and ensure that they are up to the challenges of the future.
We are closely monitoring these legislative projects and are also using the Continuing Education Day to draw attention to our demands and ideas.
As a very broadly based institution, not only the interests of adults in Germany are of concern to us, but also those of younger people. According to the results of a study presented in February, two thirds of single parents in Germany are threatened by poverty. It has now become known that only 15 percent of children and adolescents in Hartz IV receive so-called participation benefits. This option has been available since 2011 and can be used to pay contributions to sports clubs or music lessons. Obviously, other ways must be found to enable such children and young people to participate in the lives of others. How can they learn about the value of education for their further personal and professional development if they have no chance to participate at such an early age? This is a dangerous cycle that needs to be broken out of.
The more we promote the importance of education and participation at events such as the German Continuing Education Day, the more decision-makers in politics and administration will think about how equal opportunities can be realised for all members of this society. That is why we at IB must not miss any opportunity in the future to draw attention to the importance of education at all ages.
With best regards,
Thiemo Fojkar, President EVBB & CEO Internationaler Bund
The German Continuing Education Day 2018 under the patronage of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier focuses on strengthening social cohesion. It shows how vocational, (inter-)cultural and political continuing education can contribute to this. The nationwide Action Day for Continuing Education takes place every two years and is supported and financed by a broad alliance of well-known associations, institutions and companies in the continuing education sector. It is a platform for dealing with current educational, social and socio-political issues.