EU Presidency and ETF host conference on education
Education and training in the context of the European Neighbourhood Policy was the subject of a seminar in Brussels on 4 October. The event was organised jointly by the Polish Presidency of the EU Council and the ETF just a few days after the Eastern Partnership Summit in Warsaw.
Among nearly a hundred participants were representatives of the European Parliament, European Commission, Member States and the neighbouring countries.
Grzegorz Chorąży from the Polish Ministry of Education said that one of the priorities of the Poland’s EU Presidency is the development of skills for mobility.
‘Poland as a country that earlier had greatly benefited from EU external assistance, believes that education and training can make a positive change in countries’ political and socioeconomic situation,’ said Mr Chorąży.
The need to cooperate with and support civil society organisation and young people in the region, and not only to rely on relations with governments, is what Sylwia Kosińska, who works with the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, pointed out in her speech. Euronest gathers representatives of parliaments of all Eastern Partnership parliaments except of the Belarusian.
Jordi Curell, Director for Lifelong learning, higher education and international affairs, Directorate General for Education and Culture at the European Commission presented some of the achievements of various EU programmes such as Erasmus Mundus or Tempus.
These programmes not only had impact on the individual level, said Mr Curell, for example increasing employability of students, but they also facilitated institutional changes, modernised the curricula and equipment in the schools, as well as brought closer together world of education and labour market.
The seminar was also an opportunity for ETF director Madlen Serban to present the practical examples of work done by the ETF in the European Neighbourhood. Among others Ms Serban mentioned the support the ETF provided to the Tunisian government in the wake of the political changes in early 2011 and the comprehensive Black Sea Labour Market Review carried out in the six Eastern partner countries in 2009 and 2010.
Put simply, lifelong learning means that people can – and should have the opportunity to – learn throughout their lives.
Increased labour mobility across borders brings the skills issue onto the international agenda so the ETF also focuses on policy actions related to skills and employment of both emigrants and returnees.
The ETF aims to develop the capacity of partner country institutions and other stakeholders in developing, monitoring and reviewing policies in the areas of entrepreneurial learning and enterprise skills.
“Employment”: promoting better functioning and inclusive labour markets and vocational education and training systems in ETF partner countries.
The ETF's role in qualifications is to provide expertise for the reform of qualifications systems in partner countries, in their various stages of planning and implementation.
Teachers are a critical factor in education reforms. The ETF takes therefore the role of schools and teachers seriously throughout its work.
Quality assurance is provided through the development of methodological instruments to facilitate a structured policy learning process, integrating quality assurance principles, and reinforcing the quality assurance dimension in the Torino Process.
Governance modes and models have a high correlation with the overall performance of education and training policies, influencing their strategic formulation and implementation.