The Further Education Act Rhineland-Palatinate came into force 25 years ago. Since then it has formed the basis for a wide range of future-oriented education opportunities in Rhineland-Palatinate. The Ministry of Further Education and the State Advisory Board for Further Education celebrated this anniversary with an online conference in January 2021. Speakers were Minister for Science, Further Education and Culture Rhineland-Palatinate, Professor Dr. Konrad Wolf; Professor Dr. Henning Pätzold, University of Koblenz-Landau and Harry Hellfors, chair of the State Advisory Board for Further Education and managing director of LAG anders lernen e.V., a State approved organisation in Rhineland-Palatinate.
The online discussion with stakeholders from all over Rhineland-Palatinate focused on important future topics, such as the development of new educational approaches for literacy and basic education or for programmes that lead to school completion certification. Discussions also tackled how to address and attract new target groups or how digital participation in further education and training needs to be designed in order to reach as many people as possible. More than 100 participants, stakeholders and others interested in further education took part in the event.
In his welcoming address and the subsequent discussion, the Minister for Science, Further Education and Culture of Rhineland-Palatinate, Konrad Wolf, emphasized: “The Further Education Act enabled us to strengthen equal access to education and to offer everyone a pathway to education”. He stressed that the further education landscape in Rhineland-Palatinate will be continuously developed building on the foundation of the existing legal basis and in a co-creation process including all partners.
The keynote speaker of the event, Professor Dr. Henning Pätzold, explored which social developments prompted the Continuing Education Act 25 years ago and which entered into it. He also elaborated on the newly arising challenges and their consequences for the further education system in Rhineland-Palatinate: “The Continuing Education Act proves itself for 25 years and gives also room for innovations in the future. In this way, it creates the basis for stable structures in further education and transparent funding conditions. However, the law also allows for new topics, such as the area of digital skills in literacy work.”
Harry Hellfors, chair of the State Advisory Board for Further Education and managing director of LAG anders lernen e.V., commented on the role of the Further Education Act in implementing the human right to education and stressed the role of further education providers. Furthermore, he highlighted the advantages that follow from the adaptation to new technologies in the area of further education.
“The future of further education lies in the successful linkage of digital possibilities with face-to-face teaching and learning. We must not juxtapose the two forms of learning but have to combine the advantages of regional integration and personal contact with the advantages of digitization. Hybrid formats in particular open new possibilities for risk groups, people who suffer from illnesses, people with disabilities or other groups who have difficulties taking part in face-to-face courses” concluded Minister for Science, Further Education and Culture, Konrad Wolf. “Here we have the chance to create more fairness in education,” he said.
Delegation of Rhineland Palatinate to the European Union
Picture originally published by Rhineland Palatinate