A Swedish educational centre has been opened in Novi Sad

Novi Sad, 28 September – A Swedish educational centre aimed at young people, the unemployed, persons with disabilities and all those who want to increase their knowledge has been opened at the Master Centre of the Novi Sad Fair. The opening of the centre resulted from the cooperation among the Office for European Affairs of the Executive Council of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, representatives of the Swedish region of Halland and the Swedish association, ABF, engaged in liberal adult education. The representatives of the ABF said that the educational centre would be a place where the unemployed, persons with special needs and all those interested could acquire new knowledge and computer skills, learn or improve foreign languages and develop some craft skills.

The ceremony was attended by Predrag Novikov, Director of the Office for European Affairs; Sture Valsten, representative of Halland region; Braco Kalajdžić, Project Manager; Lars Engerfalk, representative of the Swedish company, Contact, providing assistance to the educational centre; David Ling, representative of the ABF; representatives of associations of persons with disabilities and other guests. Predrag Novikov, Director of the Office for European Affairs, expressed his gratitude to the ABF and Swedish region on their continuous efforts to help the population of Vojvodina in creating possibilities for obtaining new knowledge and skills that would contribute to the acquisition of European values and accessing the EU.

Braco Kalajdžić, Manager of ABF, emphasized that non-formal education in Sweden had been co-existing parallel with formal education for more than a century and had given excellent results. The principle and experiences of the ABF would be of use at the work of the educational centre, where different groups would be attending different programmes and courses. Otherwise, the ABF is financially supported by the Olof Palme International Centre and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The project was also supported by the Swedish company, Contact. Lars Engerfalk, Director of Contact, explained that Contact had created a unique network in Sweden by means of which it stimulated the development of different companies and helped them to be successful. He added that they also had their “development day”, when financiers, bankers, business people, lawyers, inventors and others gathered in one place and he invited the delegation of Serbia to participate. In addition, Contact had participated in the development of 1,200 Swedish companies, 2,900 people had been employed and two billion Swedish crowns had been invested since 1999. ”The cooperation established so far, through the programmes that the ABF has implemented in the municipalities of Irig and Indjija, has been continued with today’s opening of the educational centre, in which a stimulus for starting thinking about establishing regional cooperation between Vojvodina and Halland has been recognized”, said Sture Valsten, representative of the Swedish region of Halland.