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25 October 2020

Our 16 pilot projects - briefly presented

Read here short presentations of our 16 pilot projects - basic education offers tailor-made for…
26 August 2020

Multiplier Event Online - for Germany and Austria

A multiplier event for MobileBE will be held - in German language - on 26 August 2020. This is an…
15 July 2020

See our European picture book

A spin-off product of the MobileBE project is a picture book with a collection of artist's…
Pilot courses in video
Classroom with course participants in Västeras, Sweden

Västeras (Sweden)

I want to study for a nurseMotivational course for further studies, with focus…
Galina Lang, the German-Bulgarian teacher, speaks about the educational needs of her course participants

Hannover (Germany)

Welcome to Hannover Language Training as a Vehicle for Literacy About 6000…
Farmer Karl sitting on a hay heap in his rural environment

Mellendorf (Germany)

Farmer Karl Literacy training for adults on the countryside In Mellendorf, a…
MobileBE Videos Stills Bulgaria 1

Lovech (Bulgaria)

Education for everyone Computer training in rural Bulgaria In the village of…
Miguel is a retired wine grower. Now he learns using a tablet computer.

Cariñena (Spain)

Mobile phones, computers, tablets You are never too old to learn Cariñena is a…
A group of local residents visits a Viennese neighbourhood, with a course participant as their tour guide

Vienna (Austria)

Show me your neighbourhood Developing basic skills through being a tour guide…
Assitant nurses discuss problems of work process documenation

Göttingen (Germany)

Care for others – and yourself A basic education course for assistant nurses In…
MobileBE Videos Stills ItalyGroup4 1

Torino (Italy)

Being able to actively participate in society Basic education to get ready for…
Related Projects

literacy training –  hidden in a healthy cooking course  

Rationale - Background 

Employees in the province of Lower Saxony (and of some other provinces) in Germany have the right to take one week of Education Leave per year to attend courses. Employers are required by law to grant up to one week of paid leave for such purposes. Courses do not necessarily need to be directly related to work. They must, however, be officially approved by a public body set up for that purpose.   

VHS Hannover offers various kinds of Education Leave courses. One is a course called “Reading and Writing Skills in Everyday Life and Work” (Lese- und Schreibkompetenz in Alltag und Beruf). It provides participants with an intensive learning week in the field of literacy and basic education. The peculiar thing is that this wrapped into a “healthy cooking course 

The week is usually attended by people who also visit regular literacy courses at VHS Hannover. The healthy cooking topic helps participants ask their employers for Education Leave without exposing themselves with their low levels of literacy.  


For the participants it is important that at the end of their educational leave they feel safer in reading and writing, and generally in using German language, as often participants come from a non-German background. Additionally they get acquainted with new cooking recipes and with principles of healthy nutrition 

The advantage of a cooking course is the automatic "casual" learning of German grammar, and the practicing of reading and writing skills in friendly everyday situations. Moreover, in the Education Leave setting, participants often feel more free to act and to express themselves than they would in a normal course with classes once a week. 

Description (activities) 

VHS Hannover organises an Education Leave course in the area of literacy and basic education every winter semester. The official name of the course is "Reading and Writing Skills in Everyday Life and at Work. The course includes a total of 40 teaching hours over 5 days. The number of participants is maximum 15. Trainers are experienced teachers in the field of literacy and basic education, usually hired from the pool of freelance teachers who regularly work for VHS Hannover. 

The courses take place in one of the venues of VHS Hannover equipped with an instructional kitchen.  

As for literacy training is related to the living situations of the participants. On the first morning, the trainer collects wishes and suggestions of participants for the course, makes participants self-assess their literacy skills, and thus establishes the concrete training needs. 

The “visible” topic of the course is "healthy eating". All literacy and basic education training elements are grouped around this topic. This includes reading and writing recipes, calculating prices, and eventually creating one’s own recipe book. 

Cooking courses in the winter semester are designed to suit the needs of more advanced students. For people with lower skills, VHS Hannover organises education leave courses in summer, which so far however do not use the cooking topic but concentrate on literacy straight on. The two different levels of education leave courses are used in order to set up learning groups that are relatively homogenous regarding their literacy skills.  

Target group (Recruitment, Motivation) 

Target group: Initially, these courses were set up to be open to everybody in need. Most participants were participants of regular literacy courses (weekly lessons)Since 2015, the concept has been extended to include also participants of workplace-oriented basic education courses. (VHS Hannover organises such courses for example for employees of the municipal building cleaning unit.)  

Motivation and recruitment: Teachers of VHS Hannover who are in contact with the participants in other (regular) literacy and basic education courses, or in workplace-related basic education courses, contact potential participants and recommend them applying for an education leave. They also help filling in the paper-work.  

An important element of motivation to participate is also the Education Leave programme: participants get five days extra holidays in order to attend the course (legal provision of the province of Lower Saxony.)  


These courses are offered once a year, so it is difficult to speak of “average” numbers. However, a typical situation would be such a course to have 6 participants, mixed male and female, and aged between 30 to 60 years.   

General characterisation of participants: Participants typically are adults in employment on „simple“ jobs such as facility management, gardening, etc. Usually they are attending other courses to improve their literacy skills, and their teachers at VHS Hannover recommend them to apply for education leave and attend the cooking course.“  

Most participants are in employment (quite naturally so as this is an Education Leave programme)Occasionally, however, also retired people attend the course, e.g. in order to improve their reading skills in order to be able to read aloud for their grandchildren. 

Competence assessment 

Prior to registering for the course, external participants are invited for personal education counselling with one of the literacy specialists of VHS Hannover. The counselling follows a method developed especially for people in need of literacy training in Germany (called “alpha consultation” / Alpha-Beratung). Only then registration is possible. 


For internal participants, i.e. people who already have attended other literacy courses at VHS Hannover, their level of skills is already known to the educators, so no special skills assessment is necessary.  

Validation of learning outcomes 

After completion of the educational leave, students receive an certificate of successful participation issued by VHS Hannover.  This has an encouraging effect on the participants, but it is also needed in order to document participation to the employers who granted the leave.  


The experience of the past few years shows that through participating in an educational leave course, employees increasingly start supporting each other, understanding the living and working conditions of the others, and start feeling less isolated from society because of their reading and writing weaknesses.  

VHS Hannover also observes that employees who attend these education leave courses become more self-conscious and start overcoming the embarrassment they by default experience due to their low level literacy. As an effect, they also start to take part in their employers' training opportunities or/and responding to job vacancies. 

The 7th and last coordination meeting of the MobileBE project will take place in Hanover in Germany 22-25 June 2020 (work days 23-24 June, 22 and 25 June are for travel).

The final coordination meeting of the MobileBE project will take place in Hanover in Germany 22-25 June2020 (work days 23-24 January, 22 and 25 June are for travel).

MobileBE is a three years Strategic partnership project co-founded through the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. MobileBE aims at extending basic skill education to low skilled adults who, due to specific circumstances of life, are not able to attend traditional or existing learning offers. For example, such adults may be single parents, shift workers, nursing relatives, people with health issues, people living in remote or rural areas, prisoners in home detention and many others.

In most European countries, financing (non-formal) adult education remains problematic. In contrast to the formal system, the sources of financing are fragmented. On the side of public authorities, there is a distribution across different ministries, regional and local authorities and communes. Employers obviously play an important role as do public employment services. In many countries, the learners themselves contribute through fees. There are a number of different mechanisms and tools, which can be targeted at learners directly or at providers.

Description of the Project

In most European countries, financing (non-formal) adult education remains problematic. In contrast to the formal system, the sources of financing are fragmented. On the side of public authorities, there is a distribution across different ministries, regional and local authorities and communes. Employers obviously play an important role as do public employment services. In many countries, the learners themselves contribute through fees. There are a number of different mechanisms and tools, which can be targeted at learners directly or at providers.

Whilst the cost of many learning offers remain an obstacle for many Europeans (especially younger or older people or persons with a low educational attainments as highlighted by the Adult Education Survey), funding for adult education has been under increased pressure due to the financial crisis, and even a country like Finland is cutting funds for education. This is in contrast with the clear need to increase participation in lifelong learning. The PIAAC results have shown that at least 20% of Europeans lack basic skills, and the benchmark for participation has decreased in the last few years rather than made progress.

There is an urgent need - and recent survey among EAEA members confirms the importance of this - to find answers for questions such as: why do we need to invest in adult education? What are the indicators for funding? Where is investment needed? Which instruments work? Which funding mechanisms can engage (more) new learners?

The European Commission targeted (some of) these questions in its thematic working group (TWG) on financing adult education (it ended in 2014). It produced a study, country fiches and a final report. EAEA and its members think that the results are helpful but only paint a very partial picture – the TWG was driven by ministries (although EAEA and other stakeholders did participate). The consortium thinks that there is a need to revisit the results and offer a providers’ and civil society’s analysis of the question, update what has been achieved and make proposals for policy and financing practice that focuses on the providers and learners.

The objective of the project is to provide a set of analyses and policy recommendations targeted at policy-makers of all levels (European, national, regional, local, communal) and at providers to be used as advocacy tools. The partnership would like to monitor and analyse adult education policies and funding instruments and make proposals on how to improve them. This knowledge also benefits providers and adult education organisations as they will be able to use the analyses and recommendations in their own work.

The project needs to be transnational as the partnership wants to compare different strategies, good and bad practices and make recommendations that are valid for all European countries. The partnership believes that this peer learning aspect across Europe will contribute to finding the best solutions for adult education in Europe.


This is a very innovative project that has never been done in the current form. It is a reaction and follow-up to the European Commission’s TWG on financing. It will be the first provider / civil society project on financing.
We believe that there is an urgent need across Europe to
  • improve funding of adult education
  • improve efficiency of policies and public expenditure to reconcile the need for sound public finance and funding growth-friendly investments from providers and learners points of views
  • propose innovative solutions that can help to improve efficiency and the quality of public spending in education and training
  • improve the knowledge about funding instruments and how they work and for whom
  • to increase our knowledge of why and where to invest and then implement the funding instruments
  • continue the debate across Europe about participation in lifelong learning and especially of groups that currently do not participate and how to finance this participation

The project will bring together adult education stakeholders and policy-makers at different levels (already innovative as such) and thereby aim at

  •  creating more equitable, cohesive and sustainable provision
  •  drawing on European best practices to establish key indicators for monitoring and evaluating use of resources

The VET sector already developed a project specifically focused on financing (Project on financing VET aimed to monitor Member States’ strategies and mechanisms for financing vocational education and training (VET) and to investigate their effectiveness and efficiency), so FinALE will take these results into consideration (especially the financing adult learning database) but add to is by collecting experiences, expertise and feedback from the non-formal adult education providers. By doing so, the project will also contribute to create closer links between the different educational sectors.

Buchveröffentlichung der KVHS Gifhorn:

Ulf Neumann / Erik Weckel (Hg.)
Entschieden! - Zivilcourage jetzt

Eine MultiplikatorInnen-Fortbildung
Mit einem Vorwort von

Bundestagsvizepräsident Dr. Wolfgang Thierse
208 S., Pb.

viele Abb. und Fotos

ISBN 978-389472-236-4

€ 16,90

erscheint im April 2013




Der Sammelband „Entschieden! – Zivilcourage jetzt“ dokumentiert eine einjährige berufsbegleitende Fortbildung, die das Landes Niedersachsen im Rahmen des Programms „Kriminalprävention durch Stärkung von Zivilcourage“ förderte.

Er umfasst Beiträge der Referentinnen und Referenten und von Teilnehmenden, die ihre Praxisprojekte vorstellen. Der Titel pointiert potentielle Handlungsfähigkeiten, die auf der Grundlage theoretischer Modelle für die Bildungspraxis nutzbar gemacht werden.

„Entschieden“ weist auf die aktive eigene Entscheidung hin, die Menschen täglich bereits im Vorfeld zivilcouragierter Herausforderungen treffen und die trainierbar ist. Vorbereitet handeln wir schneller und sicherer und nehmen damit potentiellen Täterinnen und Tätern den Handlungs- und Erfolgsraum. Entscheidungskompetenz und Sicherheits-Risiko-Kompetenz sind als zentrale Fähigkeiten identifiziert, die zivilcouragiertes Handeln fördern.

Vorgestellt sind Projekte aus dem Primarbereich bis hin zur Erwachsenenbildung. Gearbeitet wurde in Theorie und Praxis mit vielen Übungen, Theaterpädagogik und Selbstbehauptung und Selbstverteidigung.


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