The European Commission has published on 1st of September a draft joint report calling for strengthening cooperation in education and training up to 2020 and especially promoting social inclusion.
The “New priorities for European cooperation in education and training” draft joint report by the EC and Member States calls for making European education and training systems more socially inclusive, as part of the wider efforts to tackle radicalisation following the 2015 attacks in Paris and Copenhagen.
The report, drafted within the Education and Training 2020 strategic framework, proposes a sharper policy focus to better address the most pressing challenges facing our society. The six new priorities identified in the report include improving people’s skills and employment prospects and creating open, innovative and digital learning environments, while at the same time cultivating fundamental values of equality, non-discrimination and active citizenship.
The Council is expected to adopt the report by the end of the year. The report also proposes to set the new priorities for 5 years, replacing previous 3 year cycles, to enable a longer-term impact. The six new priorities proposed by the Commission are:
- Relevant and high-quality skills and competences, focusing on results, for employability, innovation and active citizenship;
- Inclusive education, equality, non-discrimination and promotion of civic competences;
- Open and innovative education and training, including by fully embracing the digital era;
- Strong support for educators;
- Transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications to facilitate learning and labour mobility; and
- Sustainable investment, performance and efficiency of education and training systems.
Open education is one of the six priority areas. When addressing it, the report highlights the following concrete issues to work on:
- Mainstreaming innovative and active pedagogies such as interdisciplinary teaching and collaborative methods, to enhance the development of relevant and high-level skills and competences while fostering inclusive education, including for disadvantaged and learners with disabilities;
- Fostering participatory education governance by stimulating engagement of learners, educators, parents and the broader local community such as civil society groups, social partners and business;
- Increasing synergies between education, research and innovation activities, with a sustainable growth perspective, building on developments in HE, with a new focus on VET and schools;
- Promoting the use of ICT as a driver for systemic change to increase quality and relevance of education at all levels;
- Boosting availability and quality of open and digital educational resources and pedagogies at all education levels, in cooperation with European open source communities;
- Addressing the development of digital skills and competences at all levels of learning in response to the digital revolution.
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