Lifelong learning and digital education in Ukraine

Anastasia Volkova, IE-111i, KNEU


Too often, the frames` training system is accused of being the cause of unemployment. This is only half true, as we should not forget about other political, economic and social factors necessary to ensure full employment or economic development of the country.

In terms of education, the most flexible system, providing a variety of training courses, an organic link between different types of education or between professional experience and professional development, allows to adequately solve the problems associated with the gap between supply and demand in the labor market, Is a system of continuing education.

However, the desired and possible improvements do not preclude intellectual innovation and the implementation of such a model of sustainable development, which would meet the characteristics of each country.

Everyone should be convinced that the current and future achievements of science and technology, as well as the growing importance of cognitive and intangible factors in the production of goods and services, necessitate a new approach to labor organization and the position of workers in the society of the future.

To create this new society, the human imagination must stay ahead of various technological advances if we are to avoid rising unemployment as well as developmental inequalities.

For these reasons, the concept of lifelong learning should be promoted with all its benefits – flexibility, diversity and accessibility in time and space. The concept of continuing education needs to be rethought and expanded.

Such education, in addition to the need to adapt to changes in professional activities, should become a process of continuous development of human personality, knowledge and skills, as well as the ability to make judgments and act. It should enable a person to understand himself and the environment, and contribute to the fulfillment of his social role in the process of work and life in society. After all, by learning, we gain the ability to do something we never knew how to learn, by learning, we re-perceive the world and our connection to it; we expand our ability to create, to be part of a world.

Several terms are used to define the category of continuing education. In modern literature you can find such stable combinations as adult education; continuing education; further education; recurrent education as lifelong learning by alternating learning with other activities, mainly with work; permanent education; lifelong education; lifelong learning – LLL. In each of these terms, emphasis is placed on a certain side of the phenomenon, but the general idea is the lifelong incompleteness of education for an adult.

Historical data

Another outstanding scientist N.I. Pirogov in Odesa and Kyiv (1856 – 1861), studied how to eliminate differences in types of schools, increasing the relationship and continuity between them, tried to make a system that involves several schools: elementary school, gymnasium, higher vocational-technical school and universities. Sunday schools become part of this system. Links of continuous education for the inhabitants were also formed. Thus, in 1907 the “Association of People’s Kindergartens” was open in Kyiv, whose activities were targeted on the development of private and public schools, and also implementation of scientific principles of preschool education and training for such institutions. During this period of time, the understanding of the education importance for people, which is essential for the social and economic society development, as a whole, for a high-quality life and professional activity of each person, was growing rapidly.

But the concept of lifelong learning has received a new interpretation in our country only after 1917. The reason for this was the active creation of a new education system, when progressive ideas of lifelong education captured the minds of not only scientists and educators, but also people who actively influenced the future country policy (V.I. Lenin, N.K. Krupskaya, O.V. Lunacharsky). The tasks of building a new society could be solved only based on modern knowledge, their constant supplementation, renewal, connection with life and practice, they would be stimulated the development of many pressing problems of practical development of continuing education systems. New types and forms of education institutions have appeared, including education for adults and employees’ professional development.

It was formed the new educational paradigm in Ukraine gradually during the improvement of the main areas of higher school reform. Its key elements are set out in the documents of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the Memorandum of the International Symposium of UNESCO “Fundamental (Science and Humanitarian) University Education” in 1994. According to them, the new educational paradigm as a priority of higher education focus on the interests of the individual, adequated to modern trends in social development.

Nowadays, it could be almost impossible to get lifelong knowledge in a higher education institution. The adults’ education is relevant, called in Europe “lifelong learning” and is becoming popular in our country. Therefore, the experience of other countries, that embarked on the path of market relations before, is useful for us.

Continuing education is a process of growth of educational (general and professional) potential during the person’s life, organizationally provided with a state and public institutions and meets the needs of the individual and society.

Vasyl Dmytrovych Shinkaruk presented at the board of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine “Basic principles of higher education development in Ukraine”, Kyiv, 2008 a report “The main directions of modernization of higher education in Ukraine” said whether it would be possible to ensure maximum mobilization of opportunities and realization of the abilities of each person.

Therefore, it could be possible to solve the social and economical problem of education.

In this context, human capital is becoming decisive in the struggle for the quality of higher education products in the sector of the state’s economy.

Human capital is defined as a set of human qualities grounded for the concepts of health, such as natural abilities, education, professionalism and mobility. Each member of society must be optimally adapted to professional activities through the maximum use of individual ones.

To achieve this goal, it is essential to invest in higher education and people’s training, as well as to accelerate solving the fundamental task of modernizing the national education system, so that everyone can gain new knowledge, skills and competencies that will be needed in the process of lifelong learning.

Law documents

The concept of “lifelong learning” as a global perspective was introduced in 1972 at a meeting of UNESCO.

It focuses on the following aspects:

·People’s needs and rights to lifelong learning;

·Formation of an integrated approach between formal and informal learning contexts;

·Adequate funding for both types of learning;

·Coverage of all people;

·Finding ways to make education accessible.

On the other hand, these concepts can be found in Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and even in primitive society because permanent education has existed since the advent of people on Earth who thought, acquired knowledge, experience and practical skills. No wonder there is a saying: “Age live – age learn.”

The “Memorandum of Continuing Education” of Europe, adopted in Lisbon in 2000, formulated six main principles in order to develop adult education in modern world. [2]

The first one is new basic skills for everyone. The second one is increasing investment in human resources and innovative methods of training and learning. Moreover, it could be a new system of education evaluation and development of mentoring and counseling. Additionally, to this is bringing education closer to home.

Also on January 17, 2018, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union approved the Framework Program for updated key competencies for lifelong learning.

According to this programme, the key competencies are those that all people need to increase their potential and development, expand employment opportunities, social integration and active citizenship. Such competencies are developed in the process of lifelong learning, starting from early childhood through formal, non-formal and informal learning.

The list these key competencies is identified by the European Union and updated. They are: literacy, languages, mathematical competence and competence in science, technology and engineering and also digital, civil, entrepreneurship, personal, social and learning competence and the last one is cultural awareness and expression competence.

Distance learning

One of the most important competencies in the modern world is digital competence. It is a confident, critical and responsible use and interaction with technologies for learning, work and participation in society as well.

It includes digital literacy, communication and cooperation, creation of digital content, cybersecurity and problem-solving. Moreover, key knowledge, skills and attitudes related to digital competence are the following: firstly, how technologies can support communication, creativity and innovation.

Secondly, it is some kind of awareness of capabilities, influences and risks. Furthermore, it means understanding key principles of technologies and knowledge of basic functions and use of various devices, software and networks.

Moreover, it involves the ability to use technologies to support creativity, active social integration, cooperation with other people I order to achieve some targets. It is important to protect information, content, personal data, as well as to interact effectively with software, devices, artificial intelligence.

At the same time, it requires a critical analysis of reasonableness, reliability and information impact that are available, as well as their ethical, secure and responsible usage of these tools.

This competence is directly linked to e-learning and therefore it is gaining more success in the modern world. According to the needs of society, a variety of programs and technologies of e-learning are actively formed, relating to various types of education and forms of communication, offering some information platforms, tools, cases, etc.

All available technologies and means of e-learning make it possible to apply modern learning tools, organize the process of education and students’ interaction used various forms of study: synchronous, asynchronous, mixed, access to electronic materials, organize activities.

Accepting the digital learning environment depends not only on the educational tendency and recent educational requirements. However, the technologies are also important for its development.

The modernization of the education system has been a main national priority in Ukraine since 2016 when the Ministry of Education and Science began the reform of general education with the New Ukrainian School concept. It introduced the development of a competency-based approach and the EU key competencies, involving digital competence, as an obligation of the state in formal primary and secondary education.

The adoption of the Law on Education in 2017 legally endorsed the concept of the New Ukrainian School and provided the basis for the reform of vocational education and training (VET).

To promote the implementation of distance and e-learning in continuing professional development for teachers, the Ministry of Education and Science adopted a Provision on distance learning in formal and non-formal settings. As an example of its initiative is the Prometheus portal which offers groups of massive open online courses (MOOCs), which are useful for enhancing the digital competence of teachers and students.

Also, in 2015 the VET Institute of the National Academy of Pedagogical Science created a platform (LMS Moodle) for online learning. The users’ number of this portal is steadily increasing.

Online resources are useful complementary tools in vocational programs. However, many schools regularly use digital learning methods, and they are mainly limited by projectors and smartboards, focused on traditional lessons with digital means (e.g. PowerPoint).

E-learning involves the usage of electronic tools that could be divided into basic types and one of them is the means of theoretical and technological learning: electronic textbooks, computer curriculum and computer system of knowledge control. The next one is systems in e-learning, above-mentioned: Moodle, Web tutor, Ilias, Elearning 3000, IBM Learning Space and others.

The growth of the audience of online platforms in Ukraine indicates that adults are eager to develop and learn. It suggests that online education will become increasingly popular.


The use of e-learning provides all the opportunities for mastering any subject in general. All people in modern society must have a high level of computer literacy, manage to systematize and select information electronic educational resources using e-learning and lifelong learning in practice.

Consequently, lifelong learning and e-learning become the main principles of a united European society that is on track to a “learning society.”

Therefore, the solution to the problems faced in education could require greater efforts to analyze and define trends and problems of Ukrainian integration with the European Unit. The world is not sustainable and the ability to learn something new is the advantage of a human.

The educational process should be structured in such a way that it affects the powerful innovative potential of the adult student, the implementation of which could initiate activities aimed at the situation of personal and professional self-change.

The educational process should become a process of “self-movement” of an adult. To do this, any educational program that takes place in a group mode should be considered from the standpoint of efficiency and constructiveness.

The growing diversity of cognitive and information requests of different segments of the population cannot be met within the existing forms of traditional education. The problem of inconsistency of the formed system of education to new needs of society and the person is aggravated.

This requires a different approach to the organization of mass educational activities of adults – education must meet the diverse interests and capabilities of citizens, fit organically into their way of life, take into account the specifics of the requests of a contingent and even certain groups. 

Lifelong learning is designed to increase the level of general knowledge and expand opportunities for citizen participation in the cultural, social and political activities of the country. It should contribute to the further democratization of society, as well as strengthen the position of man in professional activities.

These conditions require a new look at the role and importance of continuing education, which meets modern educational needs. There is a need to develop theoretically sound, practically significant and convincing conceptual approaches to the organization of the system of continuing education in Ukraine.

One of the most significant problems in the formation of the system of continuing education is overcoming the stereotype of attitude to non-formal education as inferior.


  1. ANNEX to the Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning [Electronic resource]. Available at:
  2. A Memorandum on Lifelong Learning. available at:
  3. Semerikov S. O. (2009). “Theoretical and methodological bases of fundamentalization of teaching informative disciplines in higher educational institutions”, Abstract of Ph.D. dissertation, Theory and methods of teaching (computer science), National pedagogical university named after M.P. Drahomanov, Kyiv.
  4. Vovk O.B. (2015) “E-learning systems – new forms of modern education”. Matematychni mashyny i systemy. p. 79–86
  5. Education and Science Reform. Available at:

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