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International forum discusses promotion of adult learning

DAEJEON ― Experts in education gathered together to discuss Thursday how to help people continue the learning process throughout their lives at an annual forum in Daejeon.

More than 100 participants, including Gene Roth, emeritus professor of Northern Illinois University, and Luis Scasso, director of Lifelong Education of Organization of Ibero-American States, attended the International Conference on Lifelong Learning hosted by the state-run National Institute for Lifelong Education in Korea in cooperation with The Korea Herald.

Under the theme “Learning Unlimited: Learning and the World of Work,” the participants discussed how to improve learning outcomes for a better quality of life.
Participants listen to a speech at the International Conference on Lifelong Learning in Daejeon on Thursday. (NILE)
Participants listen to a speech at the International Conference on Lifelong Learning in Daejeon on Thursday. (NILE)

The concept of “Learning from cradle to grave,” is becoming more important as people now enjoy “a 100-year lifespan,” said Choi Un-shil, president of the NILE.

“Lifelong learning is one of key topics in our future society. It is now high time to ask how we can link our learning with our workplaces,” she said during her opening remarks.

During his keynote speech, Roth noted that the first step in developing effective adult learning programs is to help them to “learn how to learn.”

“We have to educate them, help them better navigate the stages of adulthood by enhancing their skills as learners,” he said.

Rika Yorozu, program specialist of UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, noted that lifelong learning is one of the biggest political and societal challenges not only facing Europe, but also Korea and around the world.

“The realization of lifelong learning is decisive for the prospects of the individual, the success of industry and the future of society,” she added.

On Thursday, a series of presentations and discussions dealt with various lifelong learning models in different countries. Also among the themes were finding ways to improve adult literacy, which is still a major concern of many countries across the world, especially in Africa and Latin America.

The NILE, which has hosted the annual forum since 2009, will also host a special exhibition for lifelong learning following the annual conference.

The exhibition, scheduled from Friday to Sunday at the Daejeon Convention Center, will invite more than 190 institutions across the country, the organizer said.

By Oh Kyu-wook (596story@heraldcorp.com)
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