SHOULD COMPETENCES STUDENTS ACQUIRE THROUGH NON-FORMAL AND INFORMAL EDUCATION BE ACCREDITED?

A.C. Colibaba1, S. Colibaba2, I. Gheorghiu3, C. Dinu4, O. Ursa5

1Gr. T. Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy / Fundatia EuroEd (ROMANIA)
2Universitatea Al. I. Cuza Iasi (ROMANIA)
3Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg (GERMANY)
4Universitatea Gr.T.Popa, Iasi (ROMANIA)
5Universitatea.de Medicina si Farmacie, Cluj-Napoca / QUEST (ROMANIA)
This article is a study based on Non-formal learning can prevent early school leaving project, a project funded by the European Commission (Erasmus +) for the years 2015 - 2017, which is being developed within an international partnership including institutions from Germany, Italy, Romania, Cyprus and Greece. The study analyzes the dramatic school dropout rate – one of the problems faced by schools in Europe and in Romanian as well, its causes and measures that have been taken so far. School dropout creates the premises for failure to achieve social integration, as it significantly reduces the individual’s chances for self-fulfillment in legal activity fields. The project highlights the advantages offered by informal and non-formal education, which does not require student attendance and whose activities take place outside school and are adapted entirely to students’ needs and interests. Given the contribution of informal and non-formal education to students’ development, accreditation of informal and non-formal learning is seen as a lifelong learning service, which should be offered to individuals in order for them to become aware of their own skills and competences and to receive a certification linked to a specific qualification. The article analyzes both students’ and teachers’ views on the issue, with a view to understanding the real causes of the phenomenon and adapting the interventions according to the real existing needs. All respondents, teachers and students alike, agreed that non-formal and informal learning has a high impact on students’ general knowledge, development and image and, therefore, given its contribution, it must be taken in consideration when assessing students at the end of a school year.