The second package of measures for creating a European Education Area has been released by the European Commission in May.
The document contains a Communication, called “Building a stronger Europe: the role of education, youth and culture policies” which has been immediately subjected to deep scrutiny by the Lifelong Learning Platform, the umbrella organisation of which Dlearn is a member.
In its statement, released in August, the organisation has welcomed the Commission’s commitment to expand the coverage of the program to all ages groups and sectors, endorsing the “lifelong learning based nature” of the Member States’ education and training system.
The Lifelong Learning Platform, however, suggests an “holistic approach” encompassing not only different sectors, but also different types of learning, including informal and non-formal.
A non-sectorial vision, integrating different learning environments, objectives and outcomes as well as the importance of out-of-classroom learning experience is, according to the organisation, the only method to develop an effective education strategy whose final aim is that of promoting social inclusion of vulnerable categories, such as immigrants.
This strategy should rely, among others, on policy coherence, professional development of educators and teachers, stakeholder involvement and synergies with existing tools and measures while keeping a learner-centred perspective.
The LLLP statement, however, isn’t limited to a generic warning, but addresses one by one each of the proposed measures – namely automatic mutual recognition, high quality early childhood education and care systems, teaching and learning of languages, and European education area initiatives, providing concrete suggestions to implement them in an effective manner.
The main purpose of the statement is to draw attention on the importance of learning as a comprehensive experience not limited to school education.
However, the totality of the proposals has been appreciated, while concerns have only being raised with regard to concrete implementation.
Within the number of initiatives LLLP applauds the provision of the institution of an European Student Card, suggesting the creation of an equivalent European Lifelong Learning Card: a document recording the individuals’ learning outcomes.
A great enthusiasm has been also dedicated to the decision to establish Centres of Vocational Excellence which will work as hubs of innovation and cross-sector cooperation, with the hope that this will be a step toward more ambitious investments and policies for VET to promote the parity of esteem with academic pathways.
According to LLLP, one of the major challenges in the implementation of the Communication will be pursuing all these goals bearing in mind the emphasis given on social inclusion by the first package.
In order to do so, the network has already guaranteed its availability in supporting the implementation of the package. Given its long expertise and experience in consulting and working with learners and educational institutions in all their diversity.
You can find the communication “Building a stronger Europe: the role of education, youth and culture policies” here