In connection with the summit held in Gothenburg, the European Commission today adopted new initiatives to improve Europe’s key competences and digital skills, to promote common values and to raise pupil awareness of the functioning of the European Union.
The new proposals come just two months after the European Heads of State or Government discussed education, training and culture at the Gothenburg summit in November 2017. They aim to reduce socio-economic inequalities while preserving competitiveness, in order to build a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe.
Commission Vice-President Jury Katathan, responsible for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness, said: “Today’s initiatives are geared to providing people with knowledge and opportunities to make the most of their lives and to we can build fair and sustainable economies and societies. We need to ensure that education brings results for everyone across Europe so that everyone can adapt to and benefit from change. This is essential for Europe’s sustainable economic growth and competitiveness and will be even more relevant in the future. We are ready to help the Member States and work with them to achieve this goal. ”
EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Tibor Navracić, said: “Education and training systems in Europe must give people of all backgrounds the right skills to develop and succeed on a professional level, but also enabling them to become more active citizens. We need to harness the potential of education to promote social cohesion and a sense of belonging. To this end, we must build on our common values and make it necessary for the education to enable students to feel their European identity in all its diversity and to learn more about Europe, other European countries and for themselves. ”
Maria Gabriel, EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Digital Society, added: “The digital age is entering into all spheres of our lives, so digital transformation will have to react not only to IT practitioners. The shortage of digital skills is a fact. Although some digital literacy is needed for 90% of future jobs, 44% of Europeans do not have the basic skills to work with digital technology. The Digital Education Action Plan we are proposing today will help Europeans, educational institutions and education systems better adapt to life and work in increasingly digital societies. ”
The new proposals will also contribute to the discussions at the first European Education Summit, to which Commissioner Navaric will host in Brussels on 25 January and during which the topic “Establishing the foundations for the European Area of Education : for innovation, inclusive and value-based education “.
The three initiatives proposed by the Commission are the following:
1. Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning: Based on the Recommendation on Key Competences adopted in 2006, this proposal contains important updates that reflect the rapid development of teaching and learning from then on. It aims to improve the uptake of key competences by people of all ages throughout their lives and to provide guidance to Member States on how to achieve this goal. Special emphasis is placed on promoting entrepreneurial and innovation-oriented attitudes in an effort to unlock personal potential, creativity and initiative. In addition, the Commission recommends measures to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STTIM) and to motivate more young people to choose a career in these fields. The proposals presented today should also be seen as part of the response to the need to urgently improve European education systems so that they can cope with the many challenges highlighted in the latest PISA study. More generally, measures will help Member States to better prepare learners for changing labor markets and active citizenship in more diverse, more mobile, more digital and more global societies.
2. An action plan for digital education outlining the ways in which the EU can help people, educational establishments and education systems better adapt to life and work in an age of rapid digital change by:
Better use of digital technologies for teaching and learning;
developing the digital competences and skills needed for life and work in the age of digital transformation; and
improving education through better data analysis and anticipation.
Initiatives include support for schools with high-speed broadband connections, a wider use of a new self-assessment tool on the use of teaching and learning technologies in schools (SELFIE), and a public awareness campaign on online safety, media literacy and cyber-security.
3. The Council Recommendation on common values, inclusive education and the European dimension of teaching: This initiative offers ways in which education can help young people to understand the importance of the common values referred to in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union and adhere to them. It aims to strengthen social cohesion and help combat the rise of populism, xenophobia, leading to a division of nationalism and the spread of fake news. The proposal also strengthens inclusive education to promote quality education for all pupils as well as the European dimension of teaching so that children can also learn about the common European heritage and European diversity and understand how the EU works. To help achieve these goals, the Commission will take steps to increase virtual exchanges between schools, in particular through the successful e-Twinning network, and to stimulate school mobility through the Erasmus + program.
For additional information from the source: European Commission http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-18-102_en.htm