Celebrating 30 years with an event dedicated to non-formal education

In 2019 a member of the European Association of Institutions of Non-formal Education of Children and Youth (EAICY) - Center of Creative Learning “Annas 2” (Latvia) - is celebrating its 30 year anniversary. One of the main events of the celebratory year was a symposium dedicated to non-formal education on April 2.

The symposium “Interest-based education in the 21st century: Creativity, Personality, Career” gathered representatives from interest-based education centers in Latvia and local and international researchers, educational methodologists, policy-makers, youth work experts and entrepreneurs in order to present and discuss the current challenges and opportunities of interest-based education in Latvia and Europe.

How can non-formal education help create a succesful future for childern and youth? This was the main question to be answered by Latvian, Lithuanian and Dutch experts of non-formal education, youth policy, entrepreneurship and education policy-making. The symposium explored how interest-based education can help develop creativity of children and youth, contribute to personal growth and assist in choosing a future career.

Keynote speaker Valdas Jankauskas, president of European Association of Institutions of Non-formal Education of Children and Youth (EAICY) and director of Lithuanian Children & Youth center presented results of a research studying the influence of non-formal education in the development of a successful personality. Another keynote speaker and member of EAICY, Dutch author, youth expert and lecturer Prof. dr. René Clarijs gave a presentation on the societal, political and educational changes and challenges of non-formal education in the 21st century. Alvis Balodis and Dace Balode represented CCL “Annas 2” and its structure – science center “Tehnoannas pagrabi” (Cellars of TechnoAnn) with a case study on how they managed to create the first children’s science center in the Baltics.

This was the first time such event had been organized in Latvia, and the symposium gathered 80 professionals of non-formal education and related fields, hosting 9 speakers, one panel discussion and one interactive survey.

The symposium was organized by CCL “Annas 2″ in collaboration with the European Association of Institutions of Non-formal Education of Children and Youth (EAICY) and the support of Education, Culture, and Sports Department of Riga City Council and the Support Society for CCL “Annas 2”.

By Katrīna Dūka, Annas 2, Deputy Director of Education