12.7 SUPPORT MEASURES FOR LEARNERS IN ADULT EDUCATION AND TRAINING
•1 Definition of target groups
The legislation in the area of education, training, employment and social affairs and the accompanying strategic documents identify several groups of adult learners:
- Adult persons in education, training and on the labour market;
- Adults form the Roma community without qualifications or completed primary education;
- Persons with migrant background;
- Adult persons with disabilities or impairments.
•2 Specific support measures
Adult persons in education, training and on the labor market
The Law on adult education defines the participant in adult education programmes is a person having completed obligatory level of education and other persons involved in education, without the status of learner.
The Strategy for adult education tackles learners in several aspects:
- In providing support to adult learners in completing primary and secondary education and;
- In introducing mechanisms of validation of prior learning.
Primary education of adults. Persons at the age of 15 participate in primary education of adults. According to the State statistical office, in the school year 2016/17, there were 12 specialized schools for primary education of adults, with 481 learners and 44 teachers involved. However, the Strategy for adult education implies that there is only one functional specialized school in the country, „Anton Semjonovikj- Makarenko”, located in Skopje, the capitol, where the instruction is being delivered in Macedonian and Albanian language.
The participation of adults in primary education is regulated by the Law on Primary Education and the Law on adult education. As well, Concept of Adult Primary Education was drafted, providing model for adult primary education to recognize the individual right to learning throughout one’s life, where learning outcomes shall be relevant to the individual for his/her competent participation in social processes. A functional adult primary education system is to improve adult education quality, increase in the number of adults involved in lifelong learning, enhance mobility to vocational and secondary education and ensure conditions for competent adult involvement in social life and especially in the labour market.
Secondary education of adults. The concept of „evening schools” providing second chance for adults to complete secondary education has been abandoned after 1987. Staring from 2010, the Adult Education Centre, in cooperation with the Ministry for education and science initiated a Program for completion of vocational secondary education of adults. The aim of this program is to reduce the level of unemployment and increase the employability of adults with completed primary education. Formal secondary VET schools were selected in 6 municipalities, Arachinovo, Chair, Prilep, Tearce, Tetovo and Kumanovo, who enrolled part-time students in 11 study programmes. So far, 2950 adults have completed these programs.
Non-formal education of adults. Having the legislation base set with the adoption of the Law on adult education, the by-laws developed and guides prepared, starting from 2014, AEC has verified more than 400 programmes for non-formal education of adults, implemented by accredited adult education providers. Having completed the program, the adult learners gain certain qualification and receive recognizable certificate.
The Employment Service Agency of the Republic of North Macedonia (ESA)is one of the key players related to the support to learners on the labour market. Organized into one central and 30 local Centers for employment throughout the country, among other, ESA performs counselling and career guidance services to unemployed people, pupils, students and all others who want to change their career paths. It is provided individually or in groups tailored to the needs of the participant/s by providing information on specific occupations, self-support and self-assessment tools that guide the unemployed in making decisions about development of his/hers career action plans.
The Operational plan of Active Programmes and Measures for Employment and Services on the Labor Market include training for specific work positions for certain employer, training for required occupations and professional profiles, training for acquiring specific skills, training for professional qualifications on request from the employers, professional orientation and career guidance, employment mediation, support measures for self-employment.
Starting from 2014, the initial steps to introduce Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning (VNFIL) have been introduced, based on the amendments of the Law on Adult Education from 2019 and the Law on National qualification framework. As planned. Ministry of education and science (MOES) should manage the implementation of VNFIL, accredit the institutions - providers of validation services and hold a registry of accredited validators. The Adult Education Centre (AEC) should provide technical support, monitos the accredited institutions, organize trainings for validation councilors and assessors. A diversified network of informational points (accredited validation institutions, institutions offering employment services, employers’ associations, chambers of commerce, syndical organizations, open civic universities, local government units, NGOs, youth clubs etc.) should provide relevant info to interested candidates.
Persons with migrant background
The Strategy for Integration of Refugees and Foreigners target the migrants proposing the following:
- Introduction of educational programme for learning of the Macedonian language;
- Integration and orientation courses that include information about social and cultural life, history and the political system in the country;
- Identification of the required support in education and models for mentorship;
- Provision of access to different levels of the higher education for adult migrants.
Adults from Roma Community
The Strategy for Roma Communityfocuses on completion of the primary and secondary education of school drop-outs, or for those who are in quest for professional qualification. The main goal is to provide continuous reduction of the adult Roma persons who do not have completed primary or secondary education, reduce the number of illiterate Roma women and to improve the awareness among adult Roma about the access and benefits from acquiring professional qualifications. The specific measures are:
- Creation and adoption of specific literacy programmes and programmes for completion of primary and secondary education;
- Provision of financial support for implementation of these programmes;
- Preparation of register of adult Roma who a interested in completion of the primary and secondary education in at least 10 municipalities;
- Selection of licensed educational institutions who will implement educational process for the adult Roma persons.
Adult persons with disabilities or impairments
The National strategy for standardization of the rights of the persons with disabilities and impairments foresees provision of education and training programmes for more sophisticated professional profiles and occupations, professional development through provision and implementation of relevant training programmes and by provision of other forms of learning and training, such as in-service training and job shadowing programmes and development of mechanisms and resources for professional orientation and rehabilitation. The realization of this measures and activities is responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Science and the municipalities as local educational authorities.