Education is processes, events, activities and conditions those assist and encourage learning. Education may be planned or random but it helps in learning. Thus education is a service. Lifelong education requires that someone i.e. government or other agencies who develop policies and devote resources to education; these cover a broad array of informal, non-formal and formal settings where deliberate choices are made.
Human beings consciously or unconsciously keep on learning and training themselves throughout their lives. This may be a result of the influence of the surroundings which mould their behaviour, their concept of life and the content of their knowledge.
In recent time scholars and planners put the education in a broader view by promoting the concept of lifelong education. Advocates of lifelong education view that education is a process that continues in one form or another throughout life. Its purposes and forms are to be adapted to the needs of individuals at different stages in their development (Rashid, 1993). Education is seen as an integral part of life and all the institutions of society with an educative potential are considered resources for learning. It is that educational process by which individuals become more competent in their knowledge and skills so that they gain more control over their environment.
Lifelong education is a blend of pedagogy and andragogy. It can be provided through various modes like distance learning, e-learning, continuing education or correspondence courses. The concept of lifelong education has been under the process of continuous change because of increased duration of formal education and insufficiency of skills attained in schooling for future career and success. Lifelong education was initially emerged as a blend of informal, formal and non-formal education with the aim of improvement in quality of life but now the concept covers all times and all places, starting from birth and ending at death.
Lifelong learning formally came into existence in 1970 after the advocacy of Council of Europe for Permanent Education, recurrent education from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and UNESCO Report of “Learning to Be”. In the Faure Report of “Learning to Be” the term lifelong education was used instead of lifelong learning. It was in the 1990s when idea of lifelong learning again gained momentum and became global in its nature. It is a concept that claims it is never too late for learning. It is an attitude of openness to new ideas, decisions, skills and behaviours. One is provided with learning opportunities at all ages, all levels in various contexts. Iqbal_-_lifelong_education.
[en][de] Les facultés traditionnelles des universités sont trop conservatrices et empêchent tout progrès, alors que le système européen d’éducation lutte pour devenir plus innovant, selon le chef du Centre pour la recherche et l’innovation dans l’enseignement de l’OCDE.
Dirk Van Damme said the current system of dividing knowledge into faculties should be broken up if Europe is to move to a new education system capable of equipping students with critical skills. "We should abolish faculties in universities. Faculties are the most conservative bulwarks against change. Europe must move to a radically different trans-disciplinary approach Most of the interesting things happen on the boundaries of the discipline," he said.
Speaking at a European Policy Centre debate entitled 'Beyond chalk and talk: Creativity in the classroom', which is part of the European Year of Creativity and Innovation, Van Damme said Europe's economic and social progress is due to the quality of its educational system. "Compared to Japan and even China, European schools are much more innovative. Japan teaches hierarchy and respect, whereas European schools teach us to challenge convention. We have increased educational achievement in Europe and schools are still digesting the revolution in education. If we are to move to the next stage of development, this has to be reinvented," he said.
However, he expressed concern that education ministries in the EU are attempting to "squeeze" ever-increasing amounts of information into curricula when a more balanced approach would be more beneficial. He also stressed the importance of quality in education and teacher education, warning that the push towards greater innovation in education would result in mediocrity if greater emphasis is not placed on excellence.