Education Package: Education on top of European agenda throughout 2018!

After the ambitious November 2017 communication on “Strengthening European identity through education and culture’, the European Commission has now released the so-called ‘Education Package’. Reflecting major parts of CESI’s key demands in the education sector, Secretary General Klaus Heeger strongly welcomed the package.

Klaus Heeger stressed: “The future challenges are tremendous! If we miss the train now, it will be too late. We are therefore very pleased by the endeavour of the European Commission to place education at the top of the EU agenda”.

Despite education being mainly a national competence, CESI has always advocated a strong European commitment for the quality of training and education. “The technological revolution leads to a gigantic societal upheaval which will not only require totally new skills, but an increased need for orientation, values and identity. This challenge cannot be tackled at the Member State level alone and the Commission can count on our assistance”, Klaus Heeger said. “In the end, it will be about investments in education and the unconditional valorisation and support of teachers and schools!”

The Commission’s package entails a series of measures aimed at strengthening key competences, digital skills, and the European dimension of teaching. More specifically, it consists of three initiatives:

• a  Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning which updates the 2006 Recommendation on Key Competences, giving further emphasis to transversal skills like civic and entrepreneurship competences;
• a  Digital Education Action Plan which sets out the priorities of making better use of digital technology for teaching and learning, and developing relevant digital skills and competences; and
• a  Council Recommendation on common values, inclusive education and the European dimension of teaching which recommends Member States a.o. to take steps to boost citizenship education, critical thinking and media literacy skills. This recommendation is the result of a public consultation carried out last summer in which CESI took part.

One of CESI’s 2018 sectoral focus lies on education. Among others, an EU-financed project shall aim at establishing key demands for a better valorisation of teachers and training and education institutions.