Socio-cultural Education in Local Context
By Irena Kalnina, Project Manager, Firma ED, Ltd
The company was established in 2007 and it is located in Bauska – in the Zemgale Region. „Firma ED“ is a small, independent enterprise basically occupied in work–out and implementation of different educational and development projects as in the local as European level. One of the enterprise’s basic aims is to prepare and implement different formal and informal adult educational projects to promote entrepreneurship in Bauska District and ensure formal and informal adult educational activities. To facilitate development of formal and informal education the enterprise cooperated with institutions like Latvia SOS Children’s Village Association, Social Department of the Bauska Town Council, Bauska Town Christian Primary School, Museum of Regional Studies and Art of Bauska and some companies in and near Bauska (SIA „RATS AB”, SIA „NETLINE”, and SIA „RAIKE”) and several local NGOs. The company has good collaboration partners not only in Latvia but also abroad: in Poland, Romania, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Estonia, Portugal and Norway.
The company offers different services for the clients:
● Informal adult education
● International relations
● Seminars, workshops
● Project planning and management
● Collaboration partners’ search.
Since the enterprise is comparatively new it has a little experience in the socio-cultural education, its environment assessment, development tools and research approaches.
Current situation in education
In the Lifelong Learning Development Programme of Bauska District for 2007 – 2013, that was worked out in 2007 by financial support of the ESF in the section Adult Education Development Programme of the Bauska District you can find neither socio-cultural education subject mater nor preparation plans of such a programme in the nearest future. As a vision of adult education in the
District is mentioned determination “to ensure opportunity to learn lifelong, to improve person’s knowledge and skills, accordingly one’s interests and needs…” It is naturally because different legislation incompleteness and education system’s disorders start from the state level – the adult education law in the country does not exist. Besides that several socio disadvantageous circumstances make the education complicated and unavailable on local level:
● Inhabitants’ inability to pay for their education – caused by economical situation in the country;
● Research about adult educational needs in correlation with the district and regional development plans and common economical development is not carried out yet;
● There is no still enough available information about education opportunities in all the levels;
● There is a lack of competent adult education organizers and tutors in the district;
● There is a shortage of flexible and qualitative adult education programmes in all the levels.
Taking into account the local situation in education at all, the enterprise has set its targets to develop availability of different forms of educations (also socio-cultural) for local inhabitants in community. The project WISE ensures an opportunity for the enterprise to promote idea about necessity of socio- cultural education and significance of its environment exploration as well as develop formation of a collaboration network in this field in the Nordic-Baltic countries.
As it was mentioned before, Firma ED is a new enterprise; however the people joined in it have a personal experience in workout and implementation of different projects.
This is the third and the last year of the CULTOUR – Cultural Tourism Development project under the Grundtvig 2 programme I am running for the Folk Applied Art Studio Bauska of the Museum of Regional Studies and Art. One of the project aims is to promote cultural diversity in the global society to form more human, well-informed and more attractive our common Europe’s House. The intercultural dialogue is one of the fields of the socio-cultural education, good experience for partners getting to know culture traditions, annual festivals and common cultural links between different nations. Within project activities during partners’ meetings and learners’ exchanges we became acquainted with the local traditions, history and art, music and dance, cuisine and beverages. As the project final products two brochures will be prepared: 1)“best practice” examples of local culture tourism development and 2) the culture tourism product: local research of appropriate topic, local cultural traditions that could be interesting for visitors and training course worked out by the partner institutions.
Seto – minority in Estonia - Folk Song programme during the 1st project meeting in Estonia
Palio – the horse riding race – a tradition since 14th century in Sienna, Italy still carried out in the medieval style
Fire of Flowers – insight in the ancient Midsummer Solstice (22nd June) traditions typical in the territory of Latvia
More information about the project you can find on the project coordinator’s website www.siksali.ee