The third Education Summit took place on 10 December, on the topic of Digital Education Transformation. Throughout the series of high-level panel discussions with Ministers of Education, the topics of blended learning, gender equality, European Universities, a greener and more digital Erasmus, as well as Education and Training fit for the 21st century, were debated.
Reflections around the current Covid-19 crisis and what it has meant for education and training concluded that although it has shown the need for advancing digital education, it remains a crisis period. What we have witnessed this year is not digital education per se, but crisis distance learning, which required a different level of effort from the education communities. However, the challenges that arose only unveiled systemic and unresolved issues, which need tackling before covid and definitely need tackling after (and during) the pandemic. While we should build on the lessons learnt from COVID-19, the impetus is to modernise education systems and ensure learners can develop the needed skills and competencies to be fully included in today’s society.
Support to teachers and educators emerged as a paramount necessity; in this sense, training opportunities remain a necessity rather than a plus. In fact, from the teachers and educators perspective, there’s a clear need to rethink initial and continuous training, personalised learning pathways, focusing on transversal skills. In this context, civil society organisations and social partners are part of the solution to build back better.
We were glad to hear that our opinion on the future of education and training was shared by panellists: flexible, adaptable, innovative and with a lifelong learning approach. Cooperation emerged as a key tool to achieve our common ambitions, including achieving a European Education Area by 2025.
“Seamless mobility of all is key for creating value for society as well as making lifelong learning a reality for all”, said Commissioner Mariya Gabriel
We stand behind these words to achieve the digital and green transformations that are required by the current crisis. But it is also important to remember that these transformations are required to ensure quality and inclusive education for all, with or without the COVID-19 crisis to further expose these needs.
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