6.4 Validation of non-formal and informal learning
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Arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning
Non-formal learning is defined according to Law 4763/2020 and concerns learning with some kind of learning support, implemented through planned activities in relation to cognitive goals and the time available for learning. It may cover programs for the transmission of work-related skills, adult literacy as well as basic education for those leaving school early.
Informal learning is defined in accordance with Law 3879/2010 and concerns learning activities that take place outside an organized educational context, throughout human life, in the context of leisure or professional, social and cultural activities. It includes all kinds of self-education activities, such as self-education through printed material or through the internet or using a computer or even through various educational infrastructures, as well as the knowledge, skills and abilities that the individual acquires due to one’s professional experience.
The National Organization for the Certification of Qualifications & Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP) is the National Authority for Certification and Vocational Guidance, the competent body of the European and National Qualifications Framework and emerges as a central pillar for the implementation of the reform in vocational education. and training. EOPPEP certifies:
- The professional training of IEK graduates
- The educational adequacy of adult educators
- Educational programs
- Develops the National Qualifications Framework
- Recognizes the equivalence of qualifications up to the level of post-secondary education
- Provides career counselling and career guidance services
The Committee of parity operating in EOPPEP is responsible for examining applications for the granting of equivalent Technical and Vocational Education degrees, other than those of Higher Education. Equivalent are titles of this level, which have been issued by abolished schools in the country or similar schools abroad.
The development of the National Qualifications Framework, as stated in law 4763/2020, serves, among other things, the recording and recognition of all qualifications acquired through the formal and non-formal education and training system, as well as non-formal learning.
Finally, Law 4763/2020 establishes the "permeability" (horizontal and vertical mobility within the learning paths) of the standard education system, and education and training to be reflected as a learning continuum with more options for more people and for good quality and higher level studies in educational structures.
Information and guidance
Regarding the validation of non-formal and informal learning the instructions are described in law 4763/2020 and in the National Reforms in Vocational Education, Training and Adult Learning 2022-2024, of the Central Council of Vocational Education and Training of the General Secretariat of Vocational Education, Lifelong Learning and Youth (GSVETLL & Y).
The Strategic Plan for Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth 2022-2024 mentions as a strategic goal the strengthening of extroversion at the level of Vocational Education and Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth. Specifically, the strategic goal concerns "the sensitization and information of the whole society regarding the competitive advantages of Vocational Education and Training & Lifelong Learning, with the aim of enhancing the attractiveness of VET, which is a strategic priority in our country as well, in order to conduct Vocational Education and Training from a solution of need for a few, to a conscious choice and employment tool for many, in order to attract trainees, who consciously choose the specific path of professional development and at the same time shift the public opinion for the value and contribution of VET in the society as a whole.
The information on lifelong learning issues will be supported by the creation of a platform on the website of the General Secretariat for Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth (GSVETLL & Y), in which all relevant programs will be captured, with thematic indexing, so that it is easy to be searched and found by those interested. The publication of Lifelong Learning activities through press releases, publications, social media accounts, information points will also contribute to the attractiveness of these programs. It is also important to create a network of communication with local agencies, which can detect the educational needs of the population.
According to the National reforms in Vocational Education, Training and Adult Learning 2022-2024, the creation of a communication platform with the stakeholders and the society is anticipated. It aims to inform and update:
- Search for competent services and submit requests
- Provision of information about the alternative routes that VET and Lifelong Learning offer
Finally, and as far as extroversion is concerned, it is foreseen to utilize the networking of bodies such as EOPPEP as a National Benchmark of European Networks, such as:
- as a National Coordination Point for the European Qualifications Framework
- as a National Partner in the European ReferNet network of CEDEFOP - since from 2016 onwards EOPPEP operates as the national partner of the European network in Greece in terms of national systems of vocational education and training
- as a National Reference Point (NRP) of the European Network for Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET) - developing a mechanism for diagnosing work needs in knowledge and skills with the aim of renewing the Curricula of VET
- as a Europass National Center - Europass, one of the most well-known European tools, created in 2004 to promote educational and work mobility in European countries
- as a National EUROGUIDANCE Center of Greece - since 2000 it is a member of the European Network of Information Centers for Vocational Guidance Euroguidance
EOPPEP is the national benchmark for quality assurance and represents Greece in the European Network for Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET).
As mentioned in the Eurydice network, EOPPEP aims at ensuring and upgrading quality in terms of:
- The provision of non-formal learning: certified Institutions and Organizations that implement non-formal learning programs with certified specifications, based on certified Professional Outlines, and in which certified Adult Instructors teach, with the support of certified Executives for individuals from socially vulnerable groups.
- Learning outcomes: certified knowledge, skills and competencies acquired through non-formal and informal learning pathways.
- The provision of career guidance and counselling services: services and tools for lifelong career development and school career guidance, utilizing modern information and communication technologies, development of networking mechanisms and upgrading career guidance and counselling services, a wide range of personalized services to a wide range of the population.
The quality of the programs offered in the context of non-formal learning is largely determined by the educational competence of the instructors, the quality of the educational material, the educational structures and the existence of a system of certification of the learning outcomes. In this direction moves the institutionalization with the provisions of law 4763/2020 control system and supervision of Lifelong Learning Centers (LLC), register LLC, certification of the programs they offer and validation of the learning results as well as the establishment of strict standards regarding facilities, infrastructure, staff and instructors who teach.