Project “YOUth Ambassadors of Non-Formal Learning”
Interviewer: Dijana Puskar
Interviewee: Mirjana Vasic, President at Inkluzivni poret; Entrepreneur at “Mirjana Vasić PR agencija za knjigovodstvo Knjiga rada Beograd”
Date and location: Belgrade, June 13, 2020.
List of questions for the Interview:
- What is non-formal education to you? Do you know if in our country/region there are laws, strategies, action plans that define and deal with it?
Non formal education is segment of education which together with formal and informal gives opportunity to people to develop competences in specific topic.
Related to law non formal education has been recognized through The Law on Adult Education. However, the qualification standard has not yet been adopted and makes confuse recognition of prior learning. Too, The Law on Adult Education does not recognize the specificity of non-formal education programs in the youth sector.
In Serbia non formal education has been recognized through Strategy for Youth 2015-2025 and recognizes non formal education as integral part of education. There is an initiative to define qualifications acquired in youth work through the National Qualifications Framework, but that is as well still in progress.
- Participation in non-formal education events has a role…etc. What can it give to those who approach the world of work or want to become entrepreneurs? What is your personal experience (from youth in action projects to becoming an entrepreneur).
I had opportunity to experience youth work and to work through non formal education. As well it inspired me to start my enterprise and to develop company in the way that today it is recognized as perspective company with good references which can produce value for owners, workers and local community. Work on workshops, meetings with people from other part of Europe, development of ideas, exchange of experiences broadened my horizons and I could see my business idea through global perspective and how to be competitive not only at local but as well on international level. Now I am cooperating with stakeholders all over Europe what gives me more flexibility and more job opportunities.
- Do you think that young people recognize the value of non-formal education?
The one who experienced it, recognize it. The problem is to reach one who didn’t experience it, as youth would rather spend time on some parting than invest time in self-development.
- Within the group of entrepreneurs you represent and are part of, are there guidelines on employee selection? Is there any strategy/idea that takes into account what has been learned outside of formal education?
There is no strict selection criterion. The experience in non-formal education and good communication skills are always welcome as there is a lot work with stakeholders. Certificates gained through non-formal education are relevant and welcomed. That proves the employee work on self-development and have experience in international team what is important for my business.
- Do you think that government and institutions should be more concerned with the validation and recognition of competences learned through non-formal education?
For sure, the institutions should take more active part in recognition of non-formal education as well take in consideration validation of certificates (youthpass for example) gained through education on transnational projects.