Almost all strategic and policy documents put strong emphasis on the need to increase the number of experts in Adult Education (AE). This is additionally transposed in the corresponding by-laws.
The Adult Education Strategy 2018-2022 implies the urgent need to increase the number of specialized educators in AE to contribute to higher quality in educational supply and improved learning outcomes. Within its Goal 7 dedicated to professionalization of the AE staff, the Strategy proposes development of standards for Andragogue (researcher, planner, assessors and trainers for teachers/educators for adults) with required higher education in the field of andragogy, teachers in AE (higher education in certain field plus andragogical training) and trainer/instructor for adults, not necessarily with higher education, but through professional expertise in required field and relevant andragogical training).
The initial education of teachers in Adult Education (AE) is organized at formal level in the form of university studies and through non-formal training modules of various providers.
In the frames of formal education of teachers in AE, the profile Andragogue (expert, teacher, researcher in AE) is gained by successfully completing the university study programme – department Andragogy. In North Macedonia, these university studies in the first, second and third study cycle are offered only at the Institute of Pedagogy in the frames of the Faculty of Philosophy in the biggest state University “Ss Cyril and Methodius” in Skopje.
The study programme for Andragogy was developed in compliance with the European standards of the criteria and competences of the profile of Andragogue in Europe. Having completed the studies, the graduated students shall develop competences for planning, organization, realization and evaluation of the AE and training. The programme explores theoretical concepts in AE, critical observation of modern andragogical science, understanding the adult learners in historical and socio-cultural context, understanding the phenomenon of AE in different contexts, shapes and situations, planning AE, development and promotion of the Lifelong Learning concept, research and development of the formal, non-formal and informal system of AE, guidance in AE etc. As well, the Program provides appropriate professional specialization to graduates in order for them to be able to contribute to the development of scientific research and the promotion of scientific knowledge in the fields of andragogy.
In non-formal education for teachers in AE, further training cycles are offered in line with the Law on Adult Education. Namely, in accordance with this law, every institution/organization dealing with AE and/or acting as an adult education and learning provider, should engage teaching professionals who have completed relevant training for educational work with adult learners.
It is important to underline that these regulations are obligatory to teaching staff for state accredited adult education programs in the context of the s. c. Verification of programs and institutions for non-formal adult education. Namely, in line with Article 21 of this Law, the state accredited non-formal adult education programs are delivered by teachers, trainers and instructors who must have completed a suitable further education program for educational work with adults.
As defined by the Law on AE, further education programs for teachers in AE are offered and organized by:
- the Public Institution Adult Education Centre (the List of certified AE trainers/educators, containing their short profiles and field of expertise is to be found on their website),
as well as by other suitable providers, such as:
- various profiles of non-formal AE providers offering non – formal further education for teachers in AE and issuing a certificate for attended non-formal training
- various profiles of non-formal AE providers offering state verified non – formal further education for teachers in AE and issuing a state recognized certificate;
In 2018, the Ministry for Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) adopted an Occupational standard for Educator, with complexity at Level 5 of NQF. The Educator delivers training for diverse target groups and presents information for certain procedures and processes, based on the needs of the target group. He/she prepares plan and training materials, adjusts the knowledge and experiences to the needs of every individual in training, manages the training process and evaluates the individual achievements of learners. He/she prepares training offers, assesses the quality of the implementation of the training and keeps files for the participants in the training.
This Occupational standard for Educator serves as a basic document to the Adult Education Centre (AEC), in order to verify programs for non-formal further education of teachers and trainers in AE, and publishes them regularly on its website, in the Database of providers and programs for non-formal adult education.