Τhe European Commission has adopted new initiatives to improve key competences and digital skills of European citizens and to promote common values and pupils' awareness of the functioning of the European Union.  The new proposals come only two months after European Heads of State and Government discussed

education, training and culture at the Gothenburg Summit in November 2017. They are intended to reduce socio-economic inequalities, whilst sustaining competitiveness in order to build a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe.

Concretely, the Commission proposed a Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning. This proposal builds on a Recommendation adopted in 2006,  but brings forward important updates reflecting the rapid evolution of teaching and learning since then. It aims to improve the development of key competences of people of all ages throughout their lives and to provide guidance to Member States on how to achieve this objective. A particular focus is placed on promoting entrepreneurial drive and innovation-oriented mindsets in order to unlock personal potential, creativity and self-initiative.

The Commission also put forward a Digital Education Action Plan that outlines how the EU can help people, educational institutions and education systems better adapt to life and work in an age of rapid digital change by making better use of digital technology for teaching and learning; developing the digital skills needed for living and working in an age of digital transformation; and improving education through better data analysis and foresight.

Initiatives include supporting schools with high-speed broadband connections, scaling up a new self-assessment tool for schools on the use of technology for teaching and learning (SELFIE) and a public awareness campaign on online safety, media literacy and cyber hygiene.

Finally, the Commission proposed a Council Recommendation on common values, inclusive education and the European dimension of teaching. This initiative aims at strengthening social cohesion to fight the rise of populism, xenophobia, divisive nationalism and the spreading of fake news. The proposal also strengthens inclusive education to promote quality education for all pupils as well as the European dimension of teaching, so children also learn about Europe's common heritage and diversity and get a good understanding of the functioning of the EU.

 

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