Saturday, 28 May 2016

COE Secretary General calls for a Framework convention on education for democracy

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Secretary General calls for a Framework convention on education for democracy
“The past 12 months have seen a gear shift in Europe’s security concerns, - points out the Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland in his latest annual report. - Recent terrorist attacks have sent a shockwave through our societies. Unco-ordinated responses to the migrant crisis have sustained chaos at our borders. Lasting peace has still not been secured in eastern Ukraine. The recent resumption of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh has reminded us how swiftly frozen conflicts can thaw. Combined with ongoing economic uncertainty, such insecure conditions are creating fertile ground for nationalists and xenophobes who seek to exploit public anxiety. Hate crime, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are on the rise. Trust in state as well as European institutions is in decline.[…]
Such developments pose serious problems for our shared security. In today’s Europe nations must work together if they are to successfully combat the many threats which cross our borders. Yet the rules and norms which constitute the basis of this co-operation are being challenged from multiple sides and increasingly, in public discourse, we see the politics of solidarity, generosity and tolerance give way to chauvinism, division and fear.  I am therefore using my third annual report to issue an appeal to all in Europe who value open democracies and inclusive societies: we must urgently demonstrate that safe and stable states are those which foster cohesion and act in concert with their neighbours. I encourage governments, parliamentarians and civil society to examine carefully the detailed analysis across it exposes Europe’s democratic shortcomings, which require our immediate attention.”
“Democratic citizenship and human rights education are […] increasingly important in addressing discrimination, prejudice and intolerance, and thus preventing and combating violent extremism and radicalisation in a sustainable and proactive way. […]  While taking stock of the present situation, it seems highly desirable to maintain the political momentum by making this a long-term commitment. In the framework of our changing societies and the new requirements arising therein, the charter [on citizenship and human rights education] could be revisited with the aim of updating this instrument to make it stronger and binding, in the form of a framework convention on education for democracy”.
The action proposed by the report in the area of education includes the following:
  • To review the Council of Europe’s activities on Democratic Citizenship Education and Human Rights Education, evaluate progress and identify and share best practice, as well as assess the need for turning the current Charter on citizenship and human rights education into a binding legal instrument;
  • To improve the visibility for citizenship and human rights education in school curricula, by supporting national co-ordination mechanisms for citizenship and human rights education and by promoting comprehensive and sustainable national approaches;
  • To endorse the Council of Europe Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Citizenship, as a key part of any government’s response to the challenges facing our societies; invite member states to make full use of the reference framework by piloting and integrating it into national education systems.

Call for proposals « Human Rights and Democracy in Action » EU/CoE Pilot Projects Scheme

Within the framework of the 2016 programme cycle of the « Human Rights and Democracy in Action » EU/CoE Pilot Projects Scheme, a new call for project proposals has been launched.
This programme cycle will focus on consolidating the outcomes produced so far (See outcomes 2013 - 2014). In particular, support will be provided to the translation, adaptation, further development and dissemination of the previous outcomes, further piloting of the existing tools and supporting their introduction in the education systems of the participating countries. 
Deadline: 12 June 2016
Should you encounter any difficulty in downloading the documents from the website, please contact the Council of Europe at to ask for a set of documents.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Interactive webinar on Family Learning and Digital Citizenship

An interesting webinar on Family Learning and Digital Citizenship took place on 26 April. More than twenty participants joined the webinar under the lead of Susannah Chambers, expert in Family Learning.

The webinar brought extra attention to the monthly theme of the online platform School Education Gateway: family learning. The webinar explored the links between digital communication technologies, family learning and digital citizenship. Some examples were highlighted of how digital communication tools are used by schools to maximise the positive impact on teaching and learning. 

The webinar was available for anyone who is registered at eTwinning Live. The availability of a live chat made the 1.5-hour-long session very interactive.

Are you interested in the results? The webinar has been recorded and is available via the School Education Gateway Youtube channel.