The European Commission has announced unprecedented funding to help developing areas affected by emergencies develop resilient education systems. €164 million will be allocated under the hat of “Education in Emergency”. Today’s event #School4All served as platform for Commissionner Stylianides to launch the funding, which will be assisted by a campaign titled #RaiseYourPencil.
Inclusiveness is one of the pillars of education: because of our core values, no education system can be considered successful without being inclusive. This is why efforts shall be made to make education as close to our idea of inclusiveness as possible, thriving to understand cultural and social differences without flattening them in a homogeneous maelstrom.
In these efforts to ensure inclusiveness, a great emphasis shall be placed on the role of civil society organisations, non-formal education providers and other non-state actors. Such was the focus of SIRIUS-NEPC Policy Conference “Inclusive education for all: from ideas to practice”, that took place in Zagreb on May 7th.
The promise of inclusive education has been with us for a long time, but we do not seem to be quite there yet. However, we keep on making the same promise, and while we fail to keep it for good, we also don’t seem to grasp that inclusiveness is an ongoing process. For it to become a reality, education actors need to build solid bridges: through geography and cultures, but also between different stakeholders (policy-makers, schools, research centres, etc.).
This is especially important when addressing the suffering of people who were forcibly displaced, or that migrated in search for better luck.
“The biggest power we have is the power of relationships”
To be truthful, inclusive education is a concept that originates from the human rights field, rather than from education systems. At the beginning, it focused on poverty reduction and access to education, while now it encompasses much broader concepts. Gradually, it spilled over to reach education policy, of which it is now a crucial feature.
We are now at a point where the world has developed a global narrative about inclusive education, whatever the dimension of inclusiveness that we are tackling. International and European organisations have come up with structured programmes to help stakeholders keep their promise; however, for as well-thought and comprehensive as they are, their impact on the local level has wavered through time and flickered away.
It is about time we ask ourselves: have SDGs been received and incorporated in Europe? In larger and larger parts of our continent, they are close to invisible. What are policy-makers doing to sparkle information on SDGs, what more can be done? It is common opinion that without the support of the EU, SDGs are not going to make a difference after all. Not only is the EU the main development donor worldwide, but it also represents a rich and stable society. While civil society organisations have at heart the fate of SDGs, they need to be empowered with real implementation structures, other than the complicated systems of reviews for the Agenda 2030 that the EU has imposed on itself in a complete lack of long-term vision. The blatant absence of accountability for Member States remains the highest political issue, snowballing until it affects their actual impact.
And with this in mind how can we still believe we can sell the idea of a truly inclusive education? How can we turn it back into a global value with a local impact? Again, CSOs are filling the gaps left by public institutions. CSOs are bringing back to the local level the global values that were lost in the lobbies of the institutions. Strong, resilient networks are key to address the inequalities that still permeate our education systems, and innovative pedagogical methods are the tools that we need to address our burning issues. And although this does not seem to strike politicians as a priority, our agendas tell us that inclusive education definitely is one.
“We need to move from the appreciation of a child’s needs to the guarantee of children’s rights“.
The role of non-formal education in inclusiveness for learners with a migrant background and for newcomers remains capital. Recent studies and findings by the OECD suggest that NFE is a factor when it comes to bridging cultures, and engaging migrant children within their new communities. While socio-economically challenged and migrant students are those who benefit the most from NFE, they also seem to be struggling to access NFE programmes. A black spot for our education systems, and a red flag for our society as a whole. Whether it is because of family (or peer) pressure, because of financial burdens, or linguistic barriers, NFE needs to be empowered to best serve its purpose.
However, the special role of non-formal and informal education in addressing inequalities has still a long way before being recognized. Resistances are being felt especially by public institutions and state actors, who address them in a mortal dichotomy as opposed to formal education. “Funding for education needs to prioritise formal structures”, they claim. In our opinion, this is an epistemological mistake that fails to see all types of education as belonging to the same core argument: reinforcing the role of education in our societies.
On May 8th, on the occasion of the #EuropeDay, European leaders have gathered in Sibiou, Romania, to take stock of the progress made towards a stronger Europe. In light of the upcoming European elections, they unanimously adopted a list of 10 commitments that shall guide European future. The claims reinforce the idea of a strong, united Europe, a statement that will accompany those same leaders through their political campaigns.
We will defend one Europe – from East to West, from North to South. Thirty years ago millions of people fought for their freedom and for unity and brought down the Iron Curtain, which had divided Europe for decades. There is no place for divisions that work against our collective interest.
We will stay united, through thick and thin. We will show each other solidarity in times of need and we will always stand together. We can and we will speak with one voice.
We will always look for joint solutions, listening to each other in a spirit of understanding and respect.
We will continue to protect our way of life, democracy and the rule of law. The unalienable rights and the fundamental freedoms of all Europeans were hard fought and will never be taken for granted. We will uphold our shared values and principles enshrined in the Treaties.
We will deliver where it matters most. Europe will continue to be big on big matters. We will continue to listen to the concerns and hopes of all Europeans, bringing the Union closer to our citizens, and we will act accordingly, with ambition and determination.
We will always uphold the principle of fairness, whether it be in the labour market, in welfare, in the economy or in the digital transformation. We will further reduce disparities between us and we will always help the most vulnerable in Europe, putting people before politics.
We will give ourselves the means to match our ambitions. We will provide the Union with the means necessary to attain its objectives and carry through its policies.
We will safeguard the future for the next generations of Europeans. We will invest in young people and build a Union fit for the future, able to cope with the most pressing challenges of the 21st century.
We will protect our citizens and keep them safe by investing in our soft and hard power and by working with our international partners.
Europe will be a responsible global leader. The challenges we face today affect us all. We will continue working with our partners in the world to uphold and develop the rules-based international order, to make the most of new trading opportunities and to jointly tackle global issues such as preserving our environment and fighting climate change.
These claims are as comprehensive as one can imagine, and we truly hope that EU leaders will stand by these statements especially when it comes to stepping up European cooperation through the approval of the next Multi Annual Financial Framework. Because there is no better way to “match our ambitions” than funding education and lifelong learning throughout the continent.
Do you have a great idea for an innovative European Project on transforming education, fit for a technology-driven world? Whether it is in higher education, school or vocational education and training, adult education, youth or sport: get ready to set up your European project proposal and benefit from EU funding from the Erasmus+ programme.
Mark Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 November 2019 in your agenda. The ReSET Task Force is delighted to invite you to the fifth edition of the Project Development Workshop (PDW), to take place in Brussels. The PDW is a unique occasion to convene with institutions, civil society organisations and providers active in the field of education and training, with the aim of building consortia for the next Erasmus+ call for applications.
Find European partners for your next project
The topic of this year’s PDW is transforming education for a technology-driven world. Under that umbrella we distinguished four subtopics that can serve as an anchor point for your project idea!
Teaching digital skills Reaching the 2020 horizon, 43% of Europeans still lack the digital skills needed to fully participate in our technology-driven societies. This is why, in this context, the acquisition of these key competences requires innovative approaches that allow reaching out to all groups in our societies, improving accessibility, having a bigger impact and empowering users.
Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) How to incorporate the emerging new learning technologies in a way that actually enhances learning outcomes and contributes to efficient and effective education. Thus, what we need is practical solutions, taking a realistic approach. This might include a number of areas, such as adaptive learning, e-learning, learning through simulations, etc.
Lifelong learning/employability We need to make it possible for people to remain employable, relevant and capable, as society develops and transforms our jobs, business models and society itself, with a speed that has turned it into a high-risk society for many people. The question is therefore how to enhance and support education and training, as well as non-formal and informal learning throughout life.
Boosting social inclusion By using technology and learning analytics it becomes possible to distinguish between different needs and tailor education for every pupil and student and allow everyone the chance to excel. This may include remedial measures (e.g. helping students individually), differentiating measures (e.g. variations in learning material and lesson approaches), compensatory measures (such as a allowing pupils to use extra technology), and dispensing measures (allow exemptions).
Do you have an innovative idea for a European project based on the above or in general about transforming educating? To be eligible for EU funding from the Erasmus+ programme, you must work together with European partners. Because they are not always easy to find, we organise this project development workshop where you will develop a project proposal with international partners.
How does it work?
Are you interested in participating in this workshop? Are you eligible?
Do you have a clear project idea and can your organisation free a person, the time and resources to be project coordinator of an international Erasmus+ project?
Is your project idea linked to transforming education?
Are you available to come to Brussels on 27 and 28 November 2019, and are you prepared to lead a project development round table with interested international partners?
You will be notified in the first week of September 2019 whether your project idea has been selected to participate in the project development workshop. Then we will distribute the best project ideas among potential partners. Interested partners will be able to sign up for the project development workshop and project leaders will select themselves the best partners for their project. An e-confirmation of participation will be sent in October.
This event is a co-organisation of EARLALL, the Liaison Agency Flanders-Europe (VLEVA), Central Denmark EU Office, NorthDenmark EU-Office, South Denmark European Office, Région Île-de-France and West-Finland European Office. It will take place at VLEVA, Avenue de Cortenbergh 71, 1000 Brussels.
Do you want to be a project leader? Please send us your project idea before the 19th of August. The workshop will take place on 27 and 28 November 20190.
During the event, Cedefop will launch the new
edition, currently under development, of its web platform VET toolkit for tackling early
leaving assisting policy makers and VET providers in taking
action towards a comprehensive approach to tackling early leaving from
education and training.
Representatives from good practices in using
integrated service delivery (one-stop shops, case management and multi-skilled
teams) in different settings will present their approach and benefits for
establishing CLLCs in disadvantaged areas across Europe. Viewing
community lifelong learning centres as a
gateway to multidisciplinary teams based services for those with complex
needs, envisages a colocation between these centres and the teams, as part of a
one stop shop.
A high-level panel with key national and EU stakeholders
is invited to reflect on thepost-2020 EU and
national agendas on tackling early leaving from education and training and their
contribution to raising citizens’ skills and improving youth social inclusion and labour
The forum will address some key issues:
is the stocktaking of current strategies and programmes to tackle early leaving
from education and training?
early leaving from education and training still a challenge in Europe? Why?
challenges are currently faced by Member States in the implementation of their
policies to tackle early leaving from education and training? What new
challenges lie ahead?
are the ongoing discussions on the post-2020 strategies and programmes to
tackle early leaving from education and training at EU and national levels to
raise citizens’ low skills, tackle youth unemployment and increase social
role can community lifelong learning centres have in EU and national strategies
to support the social inclusion and labour market integration of youth at risk?
For the answers to
these – and many more – questions, stay tuned on Cedefop
and LLLP social media.
No streaming, but live tweeting of the event is assured!
Since 1967, UNESCO International Literacy Prizes have rewarded excellence and innovation in the field of literacy. Over 490 projects and programmes undertaken by governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals around the world have been recognized. Through these prestigious Prizes, UNESCO seeks to support effective literacy practices and encourages the promotion of dynamic literate societies.
Every year, the prizes are organized around a specific theme. This year’s focus is on ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’.
Currently there are two UNESCO International Literacy Prizes:
The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize (2 awards)
Established in 1989, with the support of the Government of the Republic of Korea. It gives special consideration to the development and use of mother-tongue literacy education and training. Read the statutes.
The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy (3 awards)
The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy, established in 2005, with the support of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. It gives special consideration to literacy amongst adults in rural areas and out-of-school youth, particularly girls and women. Read the statutes.
Each of the five prizewinners receives a medal, a diploma and US$20.000.
The deadline for nominationsis Sunday 23 June 2019. For further information, please visit the dedicated page
“Human rights education can make a real difference in people’s lives – whether a woman in Turkey, a police officer in Australia or a child in India, as we see in this film,” says UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay in her introduction to a 28-minute movie entitled A Path to Dignity: The Power of Human Rights Education.
The movie presents three case studies illustrating the impact of human rights education among school children in India, law enforcement agencies in Australia and women victims of violence in Turkey.
From Tamil Nadu, in Southern India, Maria Soosai Selvaraj, National Programme Coordinator for the Institute of Human Rights Education says that “each child can make a change through practising human rights values.” In addition to learning about the Indian Constitution, the children develop an understanding of the rights of the child, and the principles of non-discrimination and equality, and how these apply to their daily lives.
In Victoria state, Australia, a human rights project monitors all aspects of policing and educates Victoria Police employees on human rights. “Human rights training forms part of our foundation training programme now,” explains Charlie Allen, an inspector. “Recruits marching into the academy or going into the academy for their training phase do initial education in human rights.”
In Turkey, the human rights education programme for women consists of weekly workshops. Women learn about their human rights and the laws that protect these rights. Mujcan Guneri, a human rights trainer, says that “the women they reached through this training programme, who have come to realize their value as individuals, have all taken steps forward. They begin to see the next step. They engage more with people and take better advantage of the opportunities offered by the State.” “Some go back to school. Some return to work life,” she adds.
The Lifelong Learning Platform, the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education and the European Commission joined forces to deliver a unique peer-learning activity on “Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education through Cooperation between Education Institutions and Civil Society”. The event, which took place on 4-5 April in Zagreb, Croatia, was organised under the umbrella of the Education & Training 2020 Thematic Working Group on Promoting Common Values and Inclusive Education.
The whole event was a great opportunity for European member States to learn on each other’s best practices on the role of civil society and non-formal education providers in the topic, with a special focus on history teaching and cyber-bullying. In an informal setting, workshops and roundtables took the participants into the topic, highlighting the efforts that MS should be carrying out to empower civil society organisations and non-formal education providers.
In fact, a few local academics admitted that the role of civil society is crucial and certainly underestimated; nevertheless, often they are seen as counter-power and measures are put in place to reduce their capacities to act or use only them that provide services. This is especially true in recent years. All countries participating agreed and recognised that an empowered civil society helps countries achieve their individual and common education goals. The funding schemes for such stakeholders were also addressed in the discussion with Member States.
The AFS Global Citizen Prize will recognise one extraordinary young person for working across differences to address pressing global issues. The winner will get US$10,000 cash prize, trip to Montreal to attend the AFS Global Conference, international recognition and membership in the AFS community of young and active global citizens.
Young people are eligible for the prize if they are under 30 years old and are running a project that:
addresses a pressing global issue outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
engages with diversity as a key to success
can be scaled up and leads to a more just and peaceful world.