From April 24th to April 28th 2017 the Flemish Support Center for Adult Education (Vocvo) hosted the international training week ‘Education behind Belgian bars’ for teachers, education coordinators and other interested stakeholders in prison education in Mechelen, Belgium. Here's a report about the activities going on during this week.
Nineteen people from 6 countries (Norway, Georgia, France, Spain, Greece and Belgium) participated in the training week. The training provided them an idea of how prison education is organized in Flanders and Brussels. The participants were introduced in practice and policy of the Flemish prison education system. Visits to four prisons in or nearby Mechelen were scheduled. These visits were the starting point for discussion and exchange. Further topics for discussion were, amongst others, language education, ICT and e-learning and vocational education in prison. The main goal of the week was to let participants learn from each other and explore possibilities for their own work. The participants presented their own organisation and practice in prison education opening up mutual learning opportunities beyond the borders.
Nineteen people from 6 countries (Norway, Georgia, France, Spain, Greece and Belgium) participated in the training week.
HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED ON THE...
... FIRST DAY (Monday 24 April 2017)
On the first day of the training week Inge Van Acker, coordinator for prison education at Vocvo, introduced the Belgian prison education system to the participants. As an introduction to the visit to the prison in Mechelen, Hilde Deputter, prison education coordinator there, explained how things are organized in Mechelen, with a focus on local language education. In the afternoon a visit to the prison of Mechelen was organized.
Belgian prison education system, presentation by Inge Van Acker, prison education coordinator at Vocvo.
... SECOND DAY (Tuesday 25 April 2017)
On the second day Amada Diez, teacher in the Centro de Educacion de Personas Adultas in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, presented how she and her colleagues work. Monica Vattedal Helgesen from Sogndal vidaregaande skule told more about prison education in Norway and in their prison Vik. Dato Jikia from Georgia told about his work at DVV International, to introduce education in Georgian prisons. Impressions about the visit to the prison in Mechelen were shared by the participants. What struck them, what were the differences or similarities compared to their own country? In the afternoon there was time to visit the prison of Antwerp.
Interview with Amada Diez, teacher in a prison in Tenerife: "Above all we want our prisoners to become productive persons"
Prison education in Georgia (will be published soon)
Impressions after the visit to Mechelen prison (will be published soon)
... THIRD DAY (Wednesday 26 April 2017).
On the third day Flavia Lucidi from INFREP in France explained how prison education is organised in France. Then her Greek colleague Konstantinos Oikonomou proudly presented their teaching methods at Larissa second chance school in the prison. The Flemish participants, Wim Ipers from Brusselleer and Ann Léger from Open school Limburg Zuid introduced their work in the Brussels prison and the prison of Hasselt. Lise Donckers from Vocvo zoomed in on the use of Prison Cloud in the prison of Beveren, the platform for e-learning. And Philippe Deridder gave an update on the Erasmus+ FORINER project enabling remote learning facilities for offenders detained overseas. After lunch everybody went off to the prison of Beveren.
Prison education at Larissa second chance school (Greece): "Our school is the most multicultural school in the city"
Education in Brussels' prisons: "The staff literally and figuratively holds the keys"
Education in the prison of Hasselt (Flanders) (will be published soon)
Visit to the prison of Beveren (Flanders). Here you can read an interview with one of the teachers in the prison of Beveren (in Dutch).
The FORINER project
Impressions after the visit to Antwerp prison (will be published soon)
... FOURTH DAY (Thursday 27 April 2017)
On the fourth day the participants visited the prison of Leuven and discussed their visit to the prison of Beveren.
... FIFTH DAY (Friday 28 April 2017)
On the fifth and last day of the training week the participants discussed their visit to the prison of Leuven and they reflected on the expectations they had at the beginning of the week and the outcomes at the end of the week.