The EC DG Inforation Society and Media ICT for Inclusion initiative thanks the enthusiasm and participation in the workshop on Digital Literacy and eInclusion, held on June 17 at the Digital Agenda Assembly. In order to to help continue the involvement in the issue, a feedback a follow up survey http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/T5XRZST has been launched. Please take a few mintues to fill it in. You will find all the presentations for reference on the workshop website.
This workshop aimed to create in-depth awareness and provide practical tools for the EU Member States to engage in structured, long term policies for digital literacy acquisition in the e-Inclusion context (Digital Agenda action 66). It was organized with the Big Idea of Multi-stakeholder platform for digital literacy and e-Inclusion.
On June 30, the Director General of DG Information Society and Media, Robert Madelin, is having a Tweetchat! You can follow the discussion and contribute using the links below:
This paper is based on a dialogue that summarises and responds to Workshop 08 of the Digital Agenda Assembly: Mainstreaming eLearning in National Policies, which took place on June 16th, 2011. It explores new ideas regarding how to make change happen by asking: do we have concrete ideas on how to introduce change in our educational systems? The workshop generated debate on issues related to both policy and practice in order to involve stakeholders from the educational sector in a discussion on the best strategies for improving learning environments.
The Digital Agenda Assembly explored new ideas regarding how to make change happen in the educational system. At the eG8, Robert Murdoch recalled that education was a pending challenge for our already digital societies. However, the question remains: do we have concrete ideas about how to make changes in educational systems?
The politics and practices surrounding the integration of technology and education raise many questions, and the extent to which this integration enacts real change is currently a critical debate within our field. Therefore, this discussion opens with a series of challenges related to the discourse on change, expressed in terms of four key areas: innovation, infrastructure, impact and pedagogical vision.
Innovation has been identified as a necessary element for creating change but the best way for introducing innovative practices is not always clear. How can we capture the innovation that takes place at the local level? Are we sure that we can transfer innovation as it is, or would it be better to concentrate on the inspirational dimension of some initiatives, in order to generate a myriad of new ones?
The Council invites Member States to support relevant initiatives aiming to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to quality education and training on an equal basis with others.
One of the main objectives is to increase their knowledge, skills and qualifications in order to promote persons with disabilities' mobility and employability.
The invitation also calls to promote the exchange of good practices, including comparative studies, with regard to support and assistance for persons with disabilities, with a view to improving their access to the education system at all levels, including, for example, the use of assistive technologies.
Improving the provision, adequacy and quality of education and training systems and addressing skills mismatches, both for young and adult population, remains high in the reform agenda of almost all countries and is necessary to achieve productivity growth.
Focus is being put on improving accessibility to lifelong learning opportunities and attractiveness of vocational education systems and apprenticeships schemes. In this respect, partnerships between education and training institutions and social partners could improve the appropriateness of these schemes to labour market needs. Further action is also necessary to reach out to more early school leavers through further education or vocational training opportunities.
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute is a state cultural institution whose task is to promote Polish culture around the world and actively participate in international cultural exchange.
Statement by Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Sport, at the meeting of Education Ministers (20 May 2011)
"Today we are taking an important step forward in the fight against early school leaving in Europe and in achieving one of the Europe 2020 headline targets. This task is a vital one - Europe cannot afford to leave six million young people without a clear perspective for their further education and employment.
This Council Recommendation signals our commitment to fight one of the main causes of poverty and social exclusion.
We are all well aware that early school leaving is a complex problem. There is no easy solution which fits all circumstances and conditions.
There are many reasons why young people interrupt their education; reasons which need to be taken seriously and which require an adequate answer. Young people may need social, financial, emotional or educational support; they may need a new cause or motivation for continuing education and training.
A complex problem such as early school leaving requires strategies which address its multi-faceted and cross-sectoral nature. We need to shift from uncoordinated individual measures to more comprehensive and strategic approaches, which involve all the relevant stakeholders and policy sectors - not just education. Our strategies should be based on evidence and targeted sufficiently to the concrete situation within a Member State or a region.
I am confident that this Recommendation will boost the development of such comprehensive policies.
A European level expert group which the Commission plans to establish will facilitate the exchange of experiences and good practice and help to further develop effective and efficient policies to reduce early school leaving.
The Commission will support this work also by monitoring developments in Europe, by supporting comparative research on early school leaving, and by identifying trends and providing feedback to the Member States in the context of 'Europe 2020' and 'ET2020' [Education & Training 2020].
The Report on Progress in meeting the European Benchmarks for Education and Training (IP/11/488) sets out the most recent comparable evidence about early school leaving but also covers our shared objectives for education more generally, including early childhood education and learning mobility. I commend it to you as a valuable source of information which can help guide your important work in this and in other educational fields. "
Prevention policies aimed at children with a socio-economic disadvantaged background including Roma
"The particular situation of early school leaving among Roma children needs specific, sustained and targeted attention. In the Commission's Communication on Roma Integration Strategies adopted in April (IP/11/400), we have highlighted that in Member States with large Roma populations, the emphasis may need to be placed first of all on ensuring completion of primary education – only after addressing this challenge can early leaving from secondary school be tackled.
As a concrete contribution to help deal with the profound educational problems of Roma children, I want to inform you of my intention to launch, jointly with the Council of Europe, a programme to train, over the next three years, 1,000 Roma people as mediators. The aim is that they should work to bridge the gaps that exist between Roma children, families and communities and the schools and other services which are meant to serve their needs. I will sign the agreement to launch this process with the Council of Europe in July."
One in seven young people in Europe quit education or training without adequate qualifications and this harms their personal development and job prospects. The measures proposed by the Commission will help EU countries to achieve their joint target of reducing the share of early school leavers in Europe from 14.4% now to less than 10% by 2020. This would mean at least 1.7 million fewer early school leavers. Member States have set national targets to reduce early school leaving, taking account of their relative starting positions and national circumstances.
Commissioner Vassiliou presented the action plan on early school-leaving in January (see IP/11/109).
To find out more:
Early school leaving in Europe – questions and answers (MEMO/11/52)
Share of early school leavers by country
By 2020 a share of early school leavers of no more than 10% should be reached.
Trends: In EU 27 the share of early school leavers (population 18-24) declined from 17.6% in 2000 to 14.4% in 2009 (females: 12.5%. males: 16.3%).
Best EU performers: Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia
In June 2011, European Schoolnet’s iTEC project welcomed an important new Associate Partner, the Gothenburg Region Association of Local Authorities (GR). The new partnership aims to strengthen scenario building in Sweden as iTEC develops and validates scenarios for the future classroom in over 1000 classrooms across 15 countries in Europe.
Allocation of resources to lifelong learning is considered as one of the key areas within the Gothenburg Region Association of Local Authorities (GR), a co-operative organisation uniting thirteen municipalities in western Sweden. As one of the iTEC’s newest Associate Partners, GR provides iTEC with a solid base in Sweden and further extends the project’s pan-European scope. With the involvement of GR, iTEC will now be able to involve and work with schools in 15 countries.
The Gothenburg region includes 210,000 pupils, 20,000 teachers and 1000 school heads. GR Education, a service organisation within the regional body, plays an important role among these actors by supporting lifelong learning and providing a place for exchanging ideas, knowledge and experience. The association also runs several joint projects and collaborates with a large number of organisations outside the municipal sphere. For example, a new project called GUNS will establish cross-border cooperation between 9 Nordic schools and 18 school classes, who will jointly plan and carry out joint cross-border projects related to languages, science, history/social studies and mathematics supported by new technologies. GR Education will also organise a two-day “Mötesplats Skola” conference in October 2011 to present different regional initiatives in the field of education. iTEC will take part in one of the conference sessions called European perspective into school digitalisation.
GR’s concrete activities to support iTEC will be related mainly to future classroom scenario development and school piloting. So called “one-to-one” computer projects have a relatively strong presence within the region’s educational sector and schools involved in these initiatives will pilot and test some of the iTEC scenarios.
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