Project “YOUth Ambassadors of Non-Formal Learning”
Interviewer: Vilma Dervishi
Interviewee: Brisida Sula, She works in the youth programs and projects sector at the National Youth Service under the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth
Date and Location: 15/06/2020, Tirana
List of questions for the Interview:
- Is there a law defining NFE in your country? If yes, describe what the law says.
In Albania there is no specific law on non-formal education but as a topic it is affected in various national strategies for education for civil society for The Action Plan 2015-2020 but there is no specific law.
- Describe existing strategies, action plans that define non-formal learning in your country?
National Youth Action Plan 2015-2020
Strategic Objective “Culture and volunteerism”
The purpose of this objective is to improve the opportunities for young people to spend their leisure time more qualitatively within the right to a quality life.
- Have you participated in the development of the strategy / action plan / law concerning the NFE issue?
I work in The Albanian National Youth Service (NYS) is a formed public autonomous body, part (structurally and under the authority) of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth. Our mission is to support and involve the Albanian youth in all areas of social and public activities. We focus on the implementation of programs for this target group, by offering tailored assistance and knowledge in a non-formal education environment, to empower young people and promote their interests, in line with National and EU youth policies. Our main focus is to help the youngsters in our country to learn by doing, to raise awareness, to promote and develop through trainings, activities, workshops, seminars and conferences. We work on various topics that are affecting the reality of youth in Albania, through the assessments of different needs and implementation of innovative ideas and projects
- Do you work on the promotion of NFE and how?
Yes, I work with activities that take place with young people on topics related to equality and human rights.
- For your institution how youth people recognize NFE?
Young people who are part of National Youth Service as the main beneficiaries of our programs, did know that non-formal learning is an extensively and debated notion in the youth field. It stands for a range of core learning principles, methodologies and approaches in the youth sector, emphasising the learner’s motivation, voluntary participation, critical thinking and providing unique learning opportunities to them on a daily basis. Non-formal education is a voluntary learning that takes place in a diverse range of environments and situations for which teaching/training and learning is not necessarily their sole or main activity. The importance of non-formal education, as generally practised by youth NGOs and other providers in national or local level helps to ensure a holistic approach to educating and empowering young people. Non-Formal Education non-only complements the formal education provided by schools but it can also make up for shortfalls in formal educations. Therefore, we provide our young people from high schools, students, individual and the one who come from civil society to be part of this programs in different field of their interest.
- What do you do with NFE in terms of closeness with young people?
With the new Youth Law, the units of local government, in accordance with their functions, draft and implement local policies in the field of youth, will be responsible for: a) reflecting and respecting the rights of young people, setting objectives and priorities, and ensuring their implementation; b) establishment of a local youth council; c) organizing and coordinating activities aimed at achieving local objectives in the field of youth protection and empowerment; d) organizing and providing services to support youth welfare and development; e) encouraging youth volunteering and informal education; f) financing the creation and development of youth infrastructure and safe youth spaces; g) establishing administrative structures on youth issues; h) to provide, in their budgets, funds for the progressive realization of young people’s rights to develop youth projects, programs and activities; i) collecting, analysing and reporting data, in cooperation with other institutions, on the situation of youth rights in their territory.
- Have you involved young people in the process of making things relevant to non-formal education?
I work in the youth programs and projects sector at the National Youth Service, an institution that deals with the implementation of youth policies through trainings, workshops, periodic programs and all-inclusive activities for the empowerment of young people in the country.
- Should the Government be involved and make an even greater contribution when it comes to youth, and youth policy?
I think that the Albanian government has made some steps in development policies for young people, but I need to do even more in this area.