YAMNFL – Interview no9 (NGO IUVENTA)


Project “YOUth Ambassadors of Non-Formal Learning”

Organization: NGO Iuventa

Country: Serbia

Interviewer: Dijana Puskar

Interviewee: Milisav Milinkovic

Date and location: Novi Sad, 29.05.2020

Duration: 45 minutes

List of questions for the Interview:

  • Is the law defining NFE in your country? If yes, please describe what the law says.
  • Please describe the existing strategies, action plans that define nonformal learning in your country?

There is no specific law that reefers only on NFE in Serbia or that is official recognized. In different Strategies related to Education, Law about youth, National Youth Strategy 2015-2025 it is mention as a important part of life long learning. Still missing standard for aquiring competencies in NFE. Still it is not officaly recognized. Ministry of youth and sport recognizes some process for quality assurance of youth work programs but not at all related to NFE. By the adoption of the Law on Adult Education (Law on Adult Education (Official Gazette of RS, no. 55/20) a significant progress has been made in creating conditions for the recognition of prior learning acquired through non-formal education and informal learning. However, the standards of qualifications and standards of professional and key competencies have not been adopted yet, which hinders the practical application of the recognition of prior learning. Also, the Law on Adult Education does not recognise the specificity of non-formal education programmes in the youth sector, which are not aimed at acquiring particular qualifications or professional training. Youth programmes are aimed at acquiring competences of young people. What is important here is the process, but primarily the outcome of the learning process; it is also important to have flexibility in the implementation of programmes in accordance with the needs of participants and a wide range of activities that are not just education or training courses.

In the context of non-formal education, recognition of competences acquired through youth work is essential for young people. There is an initiative to define qualifications acquired through youth work in the National Qualifications Framework46 (hereinafter referred to as NQF). Competences acquired in non-formal education through youth work are important for the employability of young people, because these competencies are precisely the ones that are appreciated by hiring employers. There is a statistically significant correlation between the length of participation and frequency of participation in the programmes of non-formal education through youth work and the degree and scope of acquired competences of young people

– National association of youth workers was founded in 2009, as a result of an initiative of civil society organizations, which implement youth work. They recognized the need for quality assurance of youth work programs, the need to standardize, professionalize and recognize youth work by youth, institutions which work with youth, the state and society as a whole.

Their main accomplishments:

  • 3 vocational standards in the area of professional youth work (Youth Leader, Youth Worker and Specialist for Youth Work and Policy) developed.
  • Participation in the core working group for creation of the Law on Youth in Serbia, where definition of youth work found its place.
  • Standards for youth work programs and the mechanism for its implementation developed.
  • Code of Ethics for Youth Workers developed and signed by all members; Council for Ethical Issues established.
  • Non-formal education curricula for Youth Leaders and Youth Workers developed.
  • Mechanism for validation of previously attained competencies in youth work developed.

Although the youth work profession came into the nomenclature of 2019 still lacks mechanisms and standards of acquiring these skills.

  • Have you been involved in the development of a strategy / action plan / law in excess of the NFE issues?


– Vice-President of the Commission for the creating local action plan for youth policy of the City of Novi Sad for period of 2015-2018., and Expert consultant for youth information work. Therefore,  for period 2011 -2014 I was Vice-President of the Commission for the implementation of local action plan for youth policy of the City of Novi Sad

– 2009-2010 I was involved as an Associate on creating Local Action Plan LAP Novi Sad and as a

Coordinator of working group –Youth safety for City administration for Sport and Youth Novi Sad

Main responsibilities: Coordination of working group Youth safety, organization of meetings with stakeholders, analysis of context the community, maintaining focus groups, coordination interviewers and conducting a consultation process, development of priority actions and measures in the field of youth security and safety.

– 2010 – I was engaged as Expert consultant for reviewing of Youth Policy APV Vojvodina and Coordinator of working group  – Youth safety for Provincial Secretariat for Sports and Youth and The Association “The Environment Engineering Group”. Reviewing Youth Policy documents on APV and create text with aims and measures for Action plan for youth policy in AP Vojvodina for the period 2011-2014. Organizing and facilitating round tables and public debates on the working version of the Action Plan for Youth Policy in Vojvodina.

  • Do you work on promoting NFE and how?

Through INFOPOLIS – Youth Info Center and EDIT center (Educational,. Development, Training, Information) and its programme that we organize on weekly level. Almost all activates belong to mix NFE and Youth Info Work. Therefore, through Erasmus plus programme and delivering training courses, educational sessions and vary educational methods that belong NFE.

  • For your institution/CSO how young people recognize NFE?

In INFOPOLIS – Youth Info Center and EDIT  (Educational,. Development, Training, Information) center – young people recognizing NFE as a very important part of education and for their own social and personal growing.

  • What are you doing about NFE in term to make closeness with youth?

Planning with youth the programmes and activities that deliver different educational workshops, training, events that can bring new knowledge, skills and attitudes. Activities that bring and stimulate different point of views and those that developing critical thinking, self-esteem and socializing.

  • Have you involved young people in the process of bringing about things that are relevant to non-formal education?

Always. Young people are involved in volunteering programmes and as activist and ambassadors of NFE they are working on transferring the acquired competencies and values of NFE in each segment of our work.

  • Should the Government get involved and make an even bigger contribution when it we are speaking about youth and policies about youth?

The Government and state bodies, as well as all stakeholders should be  sitting at same table and put all questions and challenges on same agenda.