The Civil Society Day, co-organised by the European Commission Directorate General for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports and the Lifelong Learning Platform as a follow up to the Future of Learning Forum, was held on 25 January 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.
Participating NGOs engaged in the topic “Future of Learning: next priorities of the education and training framework considering current societal challenges”. We discussed education and training, and what it needs to take up a more prominent role when addressing demographic changes, inclusion and citizenship, technological innovations and the future of work, digitalisation of society, environmental challenges, investment, reforms and governance.
Divided in thematic tables, we got to feed our concerns and positions vis-à-vis the challenges that our sector faces today. Participants reflected on main priorities and objectives of education and training post-2020, considering the main societal issues discussed during the Future of Learning Forum and exploring the ways civil society can contribute with regard to the future of learning.
What did we bring about? We asked EU institutions to take steering actions towards a few main points:
- Promote participation in formal, non-formal and informal learning activities – at an equal footing – as a priority across all age groups and measure this participation, including by fostering a enquiry-based approach.
- Recognise universal access to quality education as a common good which should form the basis for establishing the European Education Area.
- Adopt a holistic approach to embedding the sustainable development agenda in education and training policies (including but not limited to SDG 4 on education, training and lifelong learning), accompanied by a strong monitoring mechanism and the collection of good practices in a cooperative spirit.
- Integrate learning “about Europe” as a transversal priority for all education sectors that would facilitate the sharing of common values, which also requires support for the development of ready to use educational resources.
- Develop a coherent and coordinated approach that links the world of education and the world of work, giving value to the full range of learners’ skills and competences and not only those which immediately correspond to short-term labour market demands.
- Embed the concept of Community Lifelong Learning Centres as a forward-looking approach towards opening up educational establishments to local communities and a more diverse range of learners. Read our briefing paper on this topic!
- Promote trainings for teachers and educators about how to deal with diversity.
The fruitful meeting produced many more political recommendations that we delivered to representatives of the European Commission. Stay tuned on the Commission’s website for the full list!