09 Jun Communities revive informal education in Belgrade
The theme of adult education is important because a society in which everyone continuously learn and educate themselves, develop fully their identities and abilities, through active participation give their maximum contribution to the community and society as a whole. We talked about this topic with Nikola Koruga, a strategic planning trainer of TACSO by Civic Initiatives pool of trainers and a member of the Adult Education Society.
Nikola would describe himself as andragogist, anthropologists and artists, and this is his story.
Today he works in adult education and believes in the philosophy of lifelong learning. As a member of the Adult Education Society from Belgrade he joined the training program for trainers in the field of strategic planning for CSOs by TACSO by Civic Initiatives. Adult Education Society have successfully implemented Festival of adult education and thus have joined the international family organization or initiative of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), which encourages the celebration of achievements of adult learning and education worldwide.The Festival in 2015 presented the idea of the Center for Learning in the community. At the event, with more than 250 citizens they have created a place for learning in the community by linking available resources. In this manner the festival encouraged the formation of a network of informal learning at the level of urban municipalities. They gathered organizations, made wonderful communication and mutually shared knowledge and skills. They understood that this will be a long process. As the system of adult education in Yugoslavia collapsed, so will we, as a society, take more time to establish an innovative, self-sustaining system of informal adult education. When they recognized that they don’t have the necessary skills for advocacy they contacted Civic Initiatives and together with Trag Foundation and trainer Snežana Stojanović, implemented a series of trainings on the topic of advocacy, preparation of project proposals, activating communities, to further strengthen the network, which now has over 15 organizations.
A year after, he became a trainer in the field of the strategic planning process and a part of the TACSO by Civic Initiatives pool of trainers. Today it is clear how much work there is in the project Network of centers of learning in the community. That is why another small but important step was made. From April to mid-June, he voluntarily helped in the organization of pilot activities of digital literacy of older people, an activity organized by their partners – Volunteer Organization of intergenerational center. At first he was just talking with prospective students so that the educational activities could be fully adapted to individual needs. Then he asked andragogy students to join him and the response was fantastic. Not only did each person had his young associates in learning, but there was much more people than vacancies in the computer room. They learned from each other, with each other and rejoiced with each other. So, they began with talking, not with an entry test. They’ve finished with joy because they learned what they needed for today and for the future. With small steps and careful planning the Learning Center in the community is slowly becoming part of our everyday life.
For the end Nikola says: “Now if you ask me to introduce myself I would not share myself at percentages, but I would tell you I was getting more experience in the strategic development of programs and civil society organizations, thanks to the fact that I’m a lifelong student but also a teacher.”
This story is a part of the aspirations of the TACSO Serbia and TACSO by Civic Initiatives to promote good practices of civil society organizations in Serbia and motivate other organizations that invest on daily basis their energy and efforts in creating a better society for all citizens of Serbia.