The importance of education is unquestioned in today's world, being considered one of the biggest challenges of actual society. High-quality & inclusive education for all is effectively considered by EU, and by many other international organisations, one of the most effective defenses against the risks of social marginalisation, poverty & exclusion, especially at times of crisis (EU 2015 report). Throughout the last decades a considerable investment has been made in education, namely focused and strongly based in formal education processes.
Although, worldwide, a new trend on education practices, more informal, has been proving higher, solid and more sustainable results when it comes to the learning outcomes and youth personal development. By means of the opportunities made available through the non-formal and informal sector and through youth work, children and young people had now the chance to develop their personal potential, acquire basic skills and qualifications, and become integrated into own communities and in society at large.
According the recommendations on the Youth Report 2015, on the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, on UNICEF’s key recommendations for youth, and lately as discussed on May 2018 in the EU Youth Conference (Youth Strategy for 2019-2027), the actual education approach must be updated and aligned with the fast-changing society and with today’s youth needs and interests. It should:
> prioritize social inclusion, participation & engagement of young people in their communities and society – especially the most vulnerable ones;
> prepare all adolescents with quality inclusive education and the skills they need to prosper in the 21st century;
> renew the education methods & contents (which are still too much knowledge based – teachings from the past, and few updated to the present and to the future – which are, nowadays, mainly assured by “machines” and by the digital era tools). According to World Economic Forum, robots will replace 800 million jobs by 2030, pointing that education agents should not teach youth to compete with “machines”, once they are “smarter” in terms of knowledge-based learnings.
To prepare youth for the jobs of the future, we have to teach them to master skills that machines will never master. To this extent, new investments on education should be made as way to teach something unique, human based, such as soft skills: social & personal values, independent thinking, teamwork, care for others, sports, music, painting, arts, and creative thinking. On other hand, school curriculums are still biased in terms of the variety of subjects being taught, leaving for second plan the above referred type of skills.
In consequence, mostly on rural and small communities, this fact assumes additional importance, once the access to complementary learning opportunities is scarce.
Having this in mind, the project OBJECTIVE is: “Building and developing a community based non-formal educational ecosystem with the aim to promote and support the regular offer of extra-school high quality and enriching activities, dedicated to and participated by youth, by capitalizing important endogenous resources (human, intergenerational, cultural, natural, material, traditional, among other) in a crossed approach between youth main interests & needs and actual societal challenges.
A concrete “learning community” is created, powered by a local network of public and private entities and civil society representatives, capacitated and oriented by the main actual and future needs of youth.” To address the NEEDS of the following TARGET GROUPS, a set of SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES are defined:
1 - Young people (12-16) soft skills, abilities, ingenuity, genius, creativity, interests and vision are coherently supported, promoted & developed, through a set of activities held under a community based educational ecosystem;
2 - Generation of a solid and proactive “Learning Community”. Community (and its main agents) is involved, promoting youth educational context, and youth is enrolled and empowered to participate in community development;
3 – Youth Citizenship, participation, community awareness, initiative, collaboration, solidarity and social entrepreneurial attitudes are promoted and supported;
4 – Youth Workers skills and methodologies are increased and developed, as way to assist regular & consistent non-formal learnings and to transfer society fundamental values to young people, preventing the main phenomena actually affecting young people. To achieve these objectives, a transnational partnership is set as way to guarantee the wider reflection & discussion on the project topics, on a European perspective, between relevant entities that will allocate important learnings, expertise and experience in its development and thus on the envisaged innovation. Transnationality will allow building a pilot network for supporting community-based education ecosystems and the dissemination of results at EU level.