In 2020, 1.5 billion students in 188 countries/economies were locked out of their schools. Students everywhere have been faced with schools that are open one day and closed the next, causing massive disruption to their learning.
With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic still raging, many education systems are still struggling, and the situation is constantly evolving.
The OECD – in collaboration with UNESCO, UNICEF and The World Bank – has been monitoring the situation across countries and collecting data on how each system is responding to the crisis, from school closures and remote learning, to teacher vaccination and gradual returns to in-class instruction.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread disruption to education and training provision by schools, higher education institutions, early childhood education and care (ECEC), vocational and non-formal education centres, across Europe.
The crisis has shown that the use of distance and online learning is essential to ensuring the continuity of education and training provision.
The central reference document for the conference is the new Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning (22 May 2018). The conference builds further on the work of KeyCoNet and of the ET2020 Working Group Schools.
The Commission identified three challenges in support of competence-oriented education:
A variety of learning approaches, contexts and environments;
Support for teachers and other educational staff;
Assessment en validation of competence development.
This conference focuses on the first challenge.
Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, hosted the second European Education Summit. This second edition of the Summit focused on the teaching profession and is entitled: 'Teachers first: excellence and prestige for the European Education Area'.
Organised at the initiative of Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport by the European Commission, DG EAC, the event provides an open platform for exchanges between education, training and youth stakeholders and policymakers. The main discussions focus on key issues that education and training will be facing in Europe and beyond until 2030, including the challenges associated to demographics; inclusion and citizenship; technological change and the future of work; digitalisation of society; environmental concerns; and investments, reforms and governance.
Manuel Miguéns, EUNEC president, attended this event.
Becoming a major lever in transforming education systems, inclusive education is a process aiming at increasing participation and reducing the exclusion of marginalized and vulnerable children, by responding effectively to the needs of all students. Inclusive education’s aim is to ensure equal rights and chances in terms of education. In this matter, it joins the orientations of the « Education to All » movement, founded on the fundamental principles of non-discrimination, equal opportunities, universal access and solidarity.
The aim of the meeting is to provide a high-level forum for review of the progress towards the universal global education commitments since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. All is framed by target 4.7 of the SDG’s: Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship.
The expected outcomes are:
An assessment of current progress toward the implementation of SDG4;
An identification of recommendations for strategic areas requiring guidance and/or intervention;
Agreement on key policy messages;
Strengthening of coordinated support for the implementation of SDG 4.
The event consists of different parts:
High level technical meeting (1,5 days) including a forum of parallel sessions open for stakeholders;
A leaders’ meeting for Ministers, Vice-Ministers and/or heads of delegations (1,5 days) (Opening by H.M. Queen Mathilde of Belgium; Rudy Demotte and Hilde Crevits are chairs of the session).
The conference focuses on the adaptation of learning and teaching roles in response to the wide-ranging and increasingly rapid pace of change in Europe and the world at large. New technologies are entering our workplaces and homes encouraging and compelling us to learn new skills and acquire new knowledge. In addition, the world remains in flux and huge advances in scientific understanding of human behaviour have taken place and consequently new challenges constantly emerge. However, education systems are slow to change and adapt to new realities. Traditional learning and teaching practices continue to dominate our education systems.
On 12 April the European Commission organised a Stakeholder Forum for the European Solidarity Corps (ESC) in Brussels. It gathered 700 participants from all Europe.
The European Solidarity Corps is the new European Union initiative which creates opportunities for young people to volunteer or work in projects in their own country or abroad that benefit communities and people around Europe. The ESC aims to provide accessible opportunities for young people to express their solidarity through volunteering, a traineeship or a job responding to concrete societal challenges, to build a more inclusive society supporting vulnerable people. It offers an inspiring and empowering experience for young people who want to help, learn and develop. Many young people are keen to express their solidarity, but not all have this opportunity because the demands exceed the current possibilities on offers and enhanced opportunities could be provided.
The European Education, Training and Youth Forum is an annual event which brings together key stakeholders in education, training and youth.
This year's Forum focused on how to best deliver on the New Skills Agenda for Europe adopted by the Commission on 10 June 2016. EUNEC president Manuel Miguéns participated at the Forum.
The new skills agenda for Europe was launched on 20 June 2016, at the Charlemagne Building in Brussels.
Key note presentations by European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen en by Farid Tabarki, director of Studio Zeitgeist, followed by a panel opened by Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.
In this policy seminar, European experts from teachers’ training, ministries of education, digital champions from industry, researchers and regional authorities discuss how to benefit from digital learning environments and elaborate on how stakeholders can join forces to close the digital skills gap.
The Education, Training and Youth Forum, hosted by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Education and Culture, brings together key stakeholders for discussions on implementing the new priorities for European cooperation under Education and Training 2020 and the EU Youth Strategy, including ideas on how education, training and youth work can contribute to the follow-up to the Paris Declaration.
A first meeting with the civil society organisations active in the field of education and training took place before the actual Forum, on Monday morning. This event marks the launch of a reinforced cooperation with civil society.
This conference was organized by the European Commission and by the Italian Presidency of the EU. For EUNEC, participation was very relevant, given the networks' recent seminar and statements on 'Learning in the digital age' (Athens, May 2014).
Three high-level panels focused on three major themes:
- Increasing the quality and relevance of learning (impulse statement by Bruce Dixon, president of the Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation)
- Increasing the impact of educators (impulse statement by Pasi Sahlberg, visiting professor of Practice at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education)
- Addressing inequalities through better access and lower cost (Impulse statement by Carolina Jeux, CEO of Telefonica Learning Services)
On 2 December 2014, the EUNEC executive committee invited Mr Steven Engels, European Semester Officer at the European Commission, to talk about the European Semester, the Europe 2020 Strategy and the relevance for education and training policies. Mr Engels illustrated the European Surveillance Cycle with the case of Belgium.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, comments on the ambitious agenda of the Juncker Commission. The most important challenge is the ‘29th member state’, the large group of young unemployed. Implementing the agenda will require sustainable funding for education. Reference to achievements of her work as a Commissioner, focusing on the Erasmus+ programme, on the policy paper ‘Rethinking education’ that invited to think out of the box, and on the ‘Opening up education’ initiative. Europe 2020 and the European Semester also address reform needs in education and training; the role of education and training in the strategy has been strengthened.
This year the Commission will take stock of what ET 2020 delivered; this stakeholders forum is a key building block, the Commission is in listening mode.
Silvia Costa, Chair of the Culture and Education Committee, European Parliament
This Forum is an important step in defining the future priorities of ET 2020. The European Parliament will be committed to strengthen the role of education and training in Europe 2020.
Future priorities mentioned are languages, accessibility of education, early school leaving, digital skills. Investments in education and training will be necessary, as education and culture are key elements for sustainable development.
The Parliament insists on the need for a holistic approach of education by the future Commissioner.
This conference was organized by the Italian Presidency of the EU, in Florence. Manuel Miguéns, member of the EUNEC executive committee, represented the network.
The main message of the conference is that multilingualism is extremely important, as languages are necessary skills for business, to study abroad, for employment. New language teaching methods have been discussed, including the use of ICT. Languages are considered to be one way to bridge the gap between the worlds of education and of work, and in this sense the theme is related to the theme of the October conference on ‘bridging the transition between education and the labour market’.
Languages were also looked at as a business sector, which lead to almost corporative discussions.
The 2nd European Business Forum on Vocational Training organised by the European Commission on 23-24 September in Brussels brought together Business and VET Partners under the heading « Business and VET Partners for Growth and Competitiveness ».
The European Business Forum on Vocational Training 2014 puts the spotlight on how VET providers and businesses can work in partnership to provide the skills needed to spur growth and competitiveness in Europe.
The Forum was centered on the Final Survey Report on VET-business cooperation on skills, entrepreneurship and apprenticeships submitted by ICF GHK in association with the Danish Technological Institute in September 2014.
Organized by Vleva (Flemish-European Liaison Office) and by VVOB (Vlaamse Vereniging voor Ontwikkelingssamenwerking en Technische Bijstand – Education for Development).
Is economic welfare no longer decisive for the pupils’ performances at school?
Why is Finland no longer top performing?
Does PISA lead to ‘teaching to the test’?
What about ‘soft skills’, they are not in the PISA tests?
All powerpoints are available at http://www.vleva.eu/event/belgische-finse-en-vietnamese-recepten-voor-pisa
The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), first launched in 2008, asks teachers and schools (ISCED level 2) about their working conditions and the learning environments. It covers important themes such as initial teacher education and professional development; what sort of appraisal and feedback teachers get; the school climate; school leadership; and teachers’ instructional beliefs and pedagogical practices.
TALIS provides cross-country analysis that helps countries identify others facing similar challenges and learn about their policies.
Michael Davidson, Head of Early Childhood Education and Schools Division in the OECD’s Education and Skills Directorate, presented the key findings; Jan Pakulski, Head of Unit for Statistics, Studies and Surveys for Education and Culture in the Commission, elaborated the relevance of the findings for European policy making on teaching.
This conference is organized by EUCIS-LLL in partnership with the 'Learning for Well Being Consortium' in the context of the Education and Training 2020 review, to reflect on what has to be achieved by 2020 and how to do it.
The European Commission reported on the results of the Thematic Working Group on ECEC and of the Thematic Working Group on ESL. The new generation of ET 2020 Working Groups was introduced, in particular the Working Group on School Policy. This WG will be working until October 2015 and will focus on two main challenges: ESL and teachers.
The Forum brought together various stakeholders in order to discuss key policy developments linked to the Europe 2020 strategy, the strategic framework for European cooperation in Education and Training (ET2020) and the European Youth strategy. The 2013 Forum emphasized the need for policy-makers and key stakeholders to work in partnership, in order to foster the successful implementation of reforms at national and regional level, in particular through the opportunities offered by the new EU education, training and youth programme 2014-2020 “Erasmus+”.
The European Commission organized this second meeting of the thematic stakeholder working group on 9 October 2013 in Brussels. Nora Milotay presented the state of play in the feeld of ECEC, and Suzanne Conze presented the key messages of the report of the thematic working group on ESL.
EUNEC participated at two conferences organized by the Irish Presidency of the EU. EUNEC president Adrie Van der Rest was in Dublin for the conference on 'Integration, Innovation and Improvement - The Professional Identity of Teacher Educators'; our representative from the Lithuanian council participated at the conference on 'Better assessment and evaluation to improve teaching and learning'.
The European Commission selected the consortium of the European Service Network and the Migration Policy Group to carry out the scientific analysis of and to organise a series of European reports and seminars around the European indicators of migrant integration. The consortium works with researchers from the Free University of Brussels (ULB) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
This conference was held at the invitation of the European Commission, DG Education and Training. Participants were welcomed by Xavier Prats Monné, Deputy Director General at the European Commission DG EAC. The report was presented by Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director General for Education at OECD.
Adrie Van der Rest, president of EUNEC, represented the network at this event.
The conference was opened by the chair of the High Level Group on Literacy, Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands. The report of the High Level Group on Literacy was presented and discussed during the two-day conference, which was attended by the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, the President and members of the HLG and distinguished experts from abroad.
EUNEC was invited at the first meeting of the group of stakeholder organisations working on ECEC and ESL, which took place at 26 June 201 in BRUSSELS. A full report of the event will be soon available.
EUNEC was invited by Eurydice on behalf of Margarida Gameiro (Head of Unit A4 – Analysis and Studies – DG EAC), to the conference 'Key Competences at School in Europe. What do we learn from Eurydice reports?' that took place in DG EAC (Madou Auditorium - Brussels) on Tuesday 5 June 2012.
EUNEC participated at the annual conference of EUCIS-LLL that took place in Louvain. Presentations and programme can be found at http://www.eucis-lll.eu/pages/index.php/events/conferences/42-annual-conference-2012
The European Commission organised this conference dedicated to Comenius school partnerships. The aims are to discuss what makes cross-border co-operation between schools successful and what creates lasting impacts, to explore the links between school projects and wider school policy developments and to give participants an opportunity to forge new networks for future co-operation.
In February 2012 Eurydice published ‘Key Data on Education 2012'. It traces the main developments of European education systems over the last decade. The data are produced by three sources: Eurostat, Eurydice and PISA (OECD).
EUNEC was invited by Margarida Gameiro (Head of Unit A4 – analysis and studies – DG EAC) to the presentation conference.
The opening session dealt with the broad context and included inputs from the European Commission and the OECD. In the afternoon, field visits showed how grassroots organizations of the immigrant communities support the educational opportunities for youngsters.
The second day: successive panels provided room for discussion with stakeholders. This part is hosted by the Flemish Ministry of Education and training.
The Conference website is now available at the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/education/school-education/confesl_en.htm. You will find therein a detailed Conference report, summarising the main elements and conclusions of the two days’ discussions, as well as key notes and presentations from the workshops and the exhibition.
EUNEC participated in the launch conference on Learning for Well Being: a policy priority for children and youth in Europe – a movement for change. The conference was organized by the Learning for well-being Consortium of Foundations, in partnership with Eurochild, the European Foundation Centre and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
EUNEC participated at the fourth stakeholders forum of the European Commission, organized by DG EAC and EUCIS-LLL. This forum allows European stakeholders to present their views on progress made during the first cycle of the Strategic Framework ET 2020 and to make proposals on the priority areas of the second cycle.
EUNEC participated at the VIII National Encounter of the Social Participation in Education, organized by the Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP) y la Secretaría Técnica del Consejo Nacional de Participación Social en la Educación (CONAPASE) of Mexico. EUNEC was represented by Dr. Manuel Miguéns, secretary general of the Portuguese education council.