This is a guest post by Mario Pasteris, executive director of the Quebec Association for Lifelong Learning

Mark Twain once said, “ I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”


Mark Twain - 1908

In today’s world, lifelong learning is an essential part of a person’s intellectual development. No more are we limited to a formal education to learn. Lifelong learning can be considered like a walk down a path and not being certain where it will lead you. Lifelong learning by its very nature provides the learner with a myriad of informal learning opportunities.

The reality is that often the formal educational institutions do not recognize the acquired competencies and learning that has occurred in an informal environment. A paradigm shift is necessary.

When one speaks of lifelong learning it can be as basic as learning how a PIN number and debit card work, developing computer skills, learning a new language.

In many communities throughout Quebec, community groups are gathering together in community theatre action. For example, in the western region of Quebec, the Theatre Wakefield, which is an all-volunteer organization, is developing English-language arts and cultural activities with a focus on the theatre. This is an excellent way of fostering lifelong learning.

Throughout Quebec, many of these sorts of activities are occurring which not only help develop talents on an individual basis but the community itself becomes a cradle of lifelong learning. This sort of practice also emphasizes to youth that learning doesn’t stop when one leaves school. Learning is lifelong from cradle to grave.

The Quebec Association for Lifelong Learning (QALL), for example, fosters the culture of lifelong learning by raising public awareness, facilitating the exchange of information and resources and bringing together individuals for whom a learning society is a shared ideal. QALL believes that learning is a lifelong endeavour and a human right.


Mario Pasteris

Executive Director of QALL


For more information about lifelong learning, visit the QALL website: