Education policies play an essential role in the operation and governing of societies. They fulfil a host of functions: they promote societal values, provide a skilled workforce, socially integrate societies, generate economic development, make societies more peaceful and politically stable, and increase the understanding of other people, be they within or outside the same country. […]
The fight against education inequality- for a stronger European response
If there was anything positive about the Covid-19 pandemic, it is that we have been reminded of the importance of public services and the access to essential and quality services from education to healthcare. In this crisis, educational and care workers have regained the recognition they had lost a long time ago. However, besides its ongoing death toll and the economic downturn in its wake, the pandemic has also increased inequalities, and left the most vulnerable groups with an even higher mountain to climb.
In this Dossier, our authors look at the multilevel challenges and recent negative developments that have affected learners and educational systems in Europe. But they also highlight the key actors, stakeholders and opportunities that can reinforce the European agenda on Education and Skills. 2021 can be decisive for progressives to position themselves and address inequality by fighting for access to more equitable, tailored and quality education, from early days to adult learning, through proposals on the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan and Lifelong Learning, and on the occasion of the upcoming Social Summit in Porto.
Maria Herzcog, President of the Executive Committee of the Child Rights Connect, reminds us that the fight against inequalities starts in the early years and that the importance of early childhood education and care cannot be overlooked. Victor Negrescu, Vice-president of the Education and Culture Committee of the European Parliament, shares his ambition for a European Education Union. Jernej Pikalo, former Slovenian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, focuses on the goal of European education policies to create not only growth but social justice. Finally, Siria Taurelli, Content Coordinator of Governance and Quality Assurance of Lifelong Learning, at the European Training Foundation (ETF), invites us to reflect on stronger cooperation between European actors on the skills agenda to prepare for the transitions to come.
The future of Europe depends on how decision-makers manage to raise the profile of educational policies in the design of their recovery plans. The Covid-19 crisis has shown the weaknesses of our education systems and the growing need for a common European response, designed to prepare our societies for future challenges. A European Education Area […]
The European Skills Agenda is a call for action on a set of ambitious targets, and involves the upskilling and reskilling of millions of adult people by 2025. To implement the Skills Agenda, governments and social partners, state and non-state actors will have to innovate their cooperation arrangements, and learn new roles and responsibilities. The […]
Despite the evidence from research and practice, as well as substantial investment in early childhood education and care in Europe, there is still a long way to go to achieving access for all children to high-quality free services that pay special attention to children in vulnerable situations, in respect of child rights and developmental needs. […]
Perpetuating inequality: selling off education
Capitalist dynamics have shown their limits in all spheres, but they endure in one of the most fundamental areas of society: education. ‘Commodification of education’ is the name we give to this phenomenon: it is where most opportunities to curb inequalities go to die. From educational technology (EdTech) to so-called ‘marketable skills’, it is time […]
Can you hear me now?
Resentment and realisation can take many forms. Have the different generations learnt anything from the pandemic? Will we change the way we look at life and our relationships after Covid-19? It is the first year of university for my nineteen-year-old son. No face-to-face tuition, freshers’ week, parties, or club meetings. Hard to meet new people […]
Time for an EU Child guarantee: effective, inclusive and free
Today, the European Commission has presented a proposal to the EU council for a Child Guarantee Council Recommendation. It is a timely step for the European Commission to prioritise childcare and children’s rights and to invite member states to step up their plans to fight inequalities already during the early years of childhood. Seen the […]