The Slovenia Times

Festival for the Third Age Focusing on Lifelong Learning


The three-day event will also see round table debates, various presentations, a cultural programme and sport workshops.

The opening address was delivered by Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Minister Anja Kopač Mrak, who said that a long-lived society required cooperation among all generations.

The minister pointed to the diversity and importance of this year's programme, as well as the need for a social balance that would be acceptable for the older, middle-aged and younger generations.

Kopač Mrak announced that a system of long-term care will be established as part of the emerging health care reform, and called on all stakeholders to jointly look for answers to the challenge of demographic changes.

The festival is also being attended Karina Marcus of the EU's Active and Assisted Living Joint Programme, which carries out projects aimed at developing new solutions and services for independent, active and healthy life of older people.

The programme will be presented at today's panel featuring Marcus, which will be held after a round table debate on the current issues in lifelong learning.

The festival taking place the Cankarjev dom centre will include another five round table debates, as well as an international day on Wednesday.

The international day will include international conferences on ways for active ageing and comprehensive strategies on ageing.

The event organised among others by the Slovenian Pensioners' Association (ZDUS) is being held under the patronage of Prime Minister Miro Cerar.

Experts are pointing to the importance of lifelong learning for keeping old people active by including them in various forms of informal education and training.

According to the latest available data from the national Statistics Office, almost a third of people from the 65-69 age group is involved in an educational programme.

This January, almost a fifth of the Slovenian population was aged 65 or older, while the share is expected to increase to one third or even more by 2060.

Last year, 19% of the 290,000 people in Slovenia who lived in poverty were aged 65 or more. While the at-risk-of-poverty rate in Slovenia was 14.5% in 2014, the rate for the elderly hit over 17%.

With workers in Slovenia retiring relatively young, there were only 2,092 workers aged 65 or more last year, which represented 0.26% of the country's active working population.

The Third Age Festival coincides with International Day of Older Persons, which is celebrated on 1 October.


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