Commission presents new Rethinking Education Strategy

Commission presents new Rethinking Education strategy to encourage member states to take immediate action to ensure that young people develop the skills and competences needed by the labour market and to achieve their targets for growth and jobs.
A Commission report declared: “To unlock the full potential of education as a driver for growth and jobs, member states must pursue reforms to boost both the performance and efficiency of their education systems.”
The Commission points out that the EU youth unemployment rate is close to 23% – and yet about two million job vacancies cannot be filled.
Commissioner Vassiliou told MEPs in Strasbourg: “Rethinking education is not just a question of money: whilst it is true that we need to invest more in education and training, it is clear that education systems also need to modernise and be more flexible in how they operate to respond to the real needs of today’s society.
“Member states need to address the challenge of improving education and training while consolidating public finance. Europe will only resume sustained growth by producing highly skilled and versatile people who can contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship.”

What does Rethinking Education call for:

•    There needs to be a much stronger focus on developing transversal skills and basic skills at all levels, especially entrepreneurial and IT skills.
•    A new benchmark on foreign language learning: by 2020, at least 50% of 15 year olds should have knowledge of a first foreign language (up from 42% today) and at least 75% should study a second foreign language (61% today).
•    Investment is needed to build world-class vocational education and training systems and increase levels of work-based learning.
•    Member States need to improve the recognition of qualifications and skills, including those gained outside of the formal education and training system.
•    Technology must be fully exploited, in particular the internet. Schools, universities and vocational and training institutions must increase access to education via open educational resources.
•    These reforms must be supported by well-trained, motivated and entrepreneurial teachers.
•    Funding needs to be targeted to maximise the return on investment. Debate at both national and EU level is needed on funding for education – especially in vocational education and higher education.
•    A partnership approach is critical. Both public and private funding is necessary to boost innovation and increase cross-fertilisation between academia and business.

Please read the complete strategy on the European Commission website

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