Friday, 19 December 2008

Lifelong learning: making Europe the world's leader in education

Press release European Parliament
Education - 18-12-2008 - 12:25

MEPs call on the Commission to support knowledge, creativity and innovation in order to make Europe the world's leader in education and training systems in a report on lifelong learning adopted by the EP. The House approved a report by Ljudmila NOVAK (EPP-ED, SL) with 551 votes in favour, 31 against and 11 abstentions to support a better implementation of the 'Education & Training 2010 work programme', which seeks to make Europe the world's main actor in education and training systems by 2010.

MEPs call on Member States to effectively implement lifelong learning strategies and tools to attain this goal.

The role of media literacy, foreign languages and values in lifelong learning

Media literacy and ICT knowledge, especially among teachers and elderly people, should be taken into account in the promotion of lifelong learning objectives, said the Members.

MEPs also agree that the knowledge of a second foreign language must be introduced as early as possible in children's education. The approved text also draws attention to the importance of including issues such as environment, human rights and European values in the different subjects.

Cooperation between higher education institutions and mobility

A stronger cooperation between European higher education institutions should be pursued, regarding matters such as the transference of qualifications. In addition, the text suggests that the mobility of students and teachers should be enhanced.

Integration of Roma people

MEPs stress the need of working on the inclusion of groups with special needs (like women, disable and elderly people) and integrating migrants and minorities, such as Roma people, in all levels of education. "Roma people should be assisted by trained staff which belong to the same minority or at least speak their native language", said the approved text.

Providing education to employees and supporting entrepreneurship

The motivation of workers to keep learning throughout their lives is also among the requests of the Parliament. Employers should provide their employees with education and training to achieve this objective.

Members also emphasise the importance of supporting entrepreneurship through lifelong learning programmes, for instance by informing citizens on how to set up small and medium sized firms.