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SIAE Awards 2016
Janja Urbiha from Kozarišče

SIAE awards for learning and knowledge promotion 2007

Awards to institutions, enterprises and local communities for outstanding professional or promotional achievements as well as for achievements related to the enrichment of one's own knowledge or the knowledge of others 

Danica Kotnik from Radlje ob Dravi

Proposers: Irena Pukšič on behalf of a group of local residents


"We must recognise that today, simple people find it difficult to keep up with the flood of information and to find time for the obligations imposed by the modern world ... Here is an opportunity for non-formal education which - in terms of impact and effect - can surpass formal education." (from the nomination)

On the slopes of Pohorje and Kozjak live simple people who - like everybody else - want to be educated and happy and especially have a sense of belonging. In their needs and efforts they are uncertain and less wide-ranging than their urban peers, but if someone is willing to listen to them and offer them the opportunity, they can achieve just as good results. Danica Kotnik is a woman with a great feel for the needs of these people. She has been running the Radlje ob Dravi Adult Education Centre since 1993, and she is not just the director but - as the only full-time employee - also the head of education, secretary and much more besides that is necessary to enable adults to receive quality and friendly education in line with the principles of lifelong learning. In 2004, the founder, the Municipality of Radlje ob Dravi, extended the range of programmes to cover youth and tourism activities. Danica Kotnik was not afraid of all these tasks, rather viewing them as a challenge, particularly given that due to unemployment, low incomes and the poor educational structure of the population, enrolment in verified education programmes was continually falling, whether they involved formal education or professional training (learning foreign languages and computing, courses for forklift drivers and others). The core offer now comprises programmes for quality living in the community and learning for personal growth. They are designed to enhance self-confidence, foster creativity and enterprise, and allow better quality of life at all ages. Radlje ob Dravi Adult Education Centre under the leadership of Danica Kotnik has taken part in the Lifelong Learning Week every year with a programme of workshops, talks, seminars, walks and other events. She introduced a programme for early learning of foreign languages, in which children acquire new knowledge through play. In cooperation with MOCIS Slovenj Gradec, she opened a branch guidance centre. Within the Koroška Lifelong Learning Centre she opened an open learning point which is very well attended, since Danica Kotnik personally informed members of societies, employees in work organisations and others, and encouraged them to learn.

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