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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Support measures for learners in adult education and training


12.Educational support and guidance

12.7Support measures for learners in adult education and training

Last update: 18 March 2024

In this chapter, you will learn about vulnerable and educationally deprived groups of adult learners and special support measures for them.

Definition of the target group(s)

Goals of public interest in adult education as specified by the law on adult education include promotion of learning and training among candidates with lower educational qualification and other vulnerable groups, decrease in share of citizens without basic or vocational educational qualification and increase in the share of citizens with upper secondary educational qualification. Consequently, public funds, adapted education programmes and activities to support learning are available to adult students. Resolution on the Master Plan for Adult Education in the Republic of Slovenia for 2013–2020 (sl) classifies vulnerable and disadvantaged groups of adults in need additional support. They are:

  • Unemployed persons: priority group are persons aged 50 or over without vocational or technical educational qualification or key vocational abilities
  • Employed persons: priority group are persons aged 45 or over with less than four-years upper secondary educational qualification or who lack key vocational abilities; persons who for specific psychophysical requirements of individual occupations are unable to perform the duties after certain age
  • Young persons who decide to leave education at different levels
  • Underqualified and other vulnerable groups, such as dropouts and early school leavers, socially disadvantaged individuals, migrants, Roma, older adults, disabled, or convicted persons, and
  • Other groups of adults with limited access to social, cultural and economic goods.

Specific support measures

The state has set up an equitable system of public funding for vulnerable adult students. Its aim is to reduce the structural and individual barriers which prevent the adults to enter education. Financial resources are intended for information and counselling of adults, expanding the educational offer, financial incentives for adult students, and activities to increase the motivation of vulnerable groups at education and learning.

The state provides funds to finance special programmes for vulnerable groups, such as:

  • Basic school programme for adult learners that leads to basic educational qualification and is free
  • Training programmes for jobseekers designed to improve the skills for career planning and employment seeking (workshops, courses, short seminars, and counselling)
  • Programmes aimed at young people who dropped out of school (Project learning for young adults)
  • Programmes for adults with special needs and the Roma, as well as programmes for success in life
  • Slovenian language learning programmes for migrants (180 or 60 + 120 hours), and
  • Programmes for prisoners to reintegrate into society; the Enforcement of criminal sanctions Act (sl) states that convicts should receive education, in particular, to complete basic education and obtain an occupation.

One set up appropriate conditions for the implementation of programmes: premises and facilities, human resources, information and other. Thus, information support centres, centres for independent learning, knowledge exchange, and centres and of lifelong learning and information points have been established. Financial resources are provided for the evaluation and training of professional staff, etc.

Promotion activities for lifelong learning adequately inform and motivate adults to enter various adult education programmes. Since 1996, promotional events have been taking place during the Week of lifelong learning each year. The Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (ACS) has been promoting the concept and practice of lifelong learning with planning and coordinating these events. The Institute connects various providers of education and participants of all ages.

Because it is individuals from vulnerable groups that primarily take part in formal basic and upper secondary education for adults, class sizes may be smaller than for young students. For adult learners with special needs the matura examinations may be adapted, namely the method of taking exams, exam material, computer aid or use of special aids, method of assessment. Students with special needs include candidates who had pupil or student status during regular education or students with special needs (placement decision) or candidates who require special treatment after they incurred injuries, suffered an accident or illness, colour blind or candidates who have special educational needs approved by the competent institution or medical opinion.

Programme-providers specialized for education of vulnerable adults collaborate among each other and with the Slovenian Institute for Adult Education (ACS), Employment Service of Slovenia and Social work centres to assess the need and adapt the programme.