On the 30th and 31st of January, partners of the PRALINE project met in La Rochelle, France, for the sixth Peer Learning Activity hosted by the French organisation UNMFREO – Union Nationale des Maisons Familiales Rurales d’Education et d’Orientation (National Union of Rural Family Homes for Education and Gidance), an association of VET centers and member of the european initiative. The Sustainable Development Goals designed by the United Nations and their impact on the VET system took the spotlight at this PLA.
The meeting was kicked off by Manfred Polzin, Senior Advisor on International Affairs at the MBO Raad, the Association for VET centres in the Netherlands and PRALINE’s project coordinator, who led the evaluation of the mid-term report and presented the goals to be achieved by the initiative. This was followed by an introduction to the French VET system from Phillipe Ristord, member of UNMFREO — a union of VET centres called Rural Family Homes — and the Regional Council of New Aquitaine. Ristord further elaborated on the MFR or Rural Family Homes network, an educational model that now has 430 centres across France, where students learn in residences while they develop their interpersonal skills. Sandrine Guibert, responsible for the training of educators in New Aquitaine, dived into how monitors in MFR Homes are qualified to guide learners’ paths.
Decarbonization, an educational challenge
The exchange of good practice initiatives from institutions in La Rochelle continued with the presentation of Territoire Zéro Carbone, a cooperative that aims to assess the environmental impact of actions in the region and support emission reduction projects promoted by any local authorities, businesses, training centres and citizens. Speakers Joffrey Perrussel, Strategy Officer at the organisation, and Julien Clachague, from the University of La Rochelle, explained the current project of introducing training activities related to climate change starting in 2023, with the goal of generalising this education to all students by 2028.
The second day of the PLA started with a collaborative working session to discuss the skills that teachers of the future will need, analysing the data provided by the participants from the previous day. Afterwards, all members got the chance to learn about France’s new Education Law, which was approved in 2018 and brought significant changes to the VET system. Mainly, networks like UNMFREO can now benefit from government funds if they undergo a process of certification, Qualiopi. Finally, representatives from Discovia, a company specialised in the integration of people with functional diversity, shared the success of their model and the advantages brought by the qualification of people in this group.
All members of the PRALINE project agreed upon the dates of the next PLA activities, which will take place in Finland next May, in Croatia next October and in the Netherlands between November and December. This exchange of good practice initiatives regarding the training of adults aims to strengthen the network of VET organisations in Europe, and it will continue until January 2024.