Inclusive Education. Fighting Inequalities in Education and Training – Brussels, 10 December 2014

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Wed 10 December, 09:30-11:00 // Mundo J (Rue de l’Industrie 10), Brussels

Learning is powerful in getting people more engaged in society in its economic, political and social dimensions. Providing high quality learning opportunities to all and especially to the most disadvantaged is crucial not only for our ageing workforce to cope with ever more competitive and changing labour markets, but also to be more socially included and have better living conditions. Unfortunately, inequalities persist in European education and training systems where vulnerable groups like migrants are particularly disadvantaged. As European history shows, rising inequalities go hand in hand with rising nationalism and discrimination.

EUCIS-LLL firmly believes that we should refocus EU cooperation on equity, democracy and social cohesion. They highlight the need to re-engage to deliver the vision of a social Europe with high levels of quality education in respect of Article 9 of the Treaty. The EU has undertaken a series of actions to answer some of these challenges including the Youth Guarantee, cooperation on early-school leaving, Social Investment Package, social dimension of the Bologna Process and the Roma Initiative. However, we miss a coherent strategy heading those measures towards clear goals and national/regional roadmaps and a strong political will.

The Launch of the flagship initiative on ‘Inclusive Education. Fighting Inequalities in Education and Training‘ on 10th December will take place during the Lifelong Learning Week 2014 (#LLLWeek2014). The seminar is meant to bring people together to discuss what the strategy on inclusive education could look like within the Europe 2020 Strategy. Thomas Huddleston of the Migration Policy Group will be there to present the SIRIUS  Agenda for Migrant Education in Europe.

The event is organised by the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL), with the support of MEP Julie Ward (S&D, UK).

Agenda

Opening session

  • Welcome words from Daniele DI MITRI, EUCIS-LLL Vice-President
  • Opening by MEP Julie WARD, UK, S&D

Presentation

  • Paul DOWNES, Director, Educational Disadvantage Centre, Senior Lecturer in Education (Psychology), St. Patrick’s College, Dublin City University

Panel discussion

Group discussions

Conclusions

For further information: EUCIS-LLL Website

Policy recommendations on the mid-term review of the ET2020 strategy

eucislllEUCIS-LLL, the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning, has published a position paper on lifelong learning and education. Considering the upcoming mid-term reviews of the EU2020 and ET2020 strategies and subsequent revisions and policy changes, the report urges decision-makers to take on a more comprehensive approach to education.

According to EUCIS-LLL, education should not be narrowed down to economic needs and employability alone, but needs to be understood in a broader context of social inclusion. This would require the EU to step up their efforts in advancing educational equity, promoting civic, social and intercultural competences and making lifelong learning a reality for all.

Download report

Via EUCIS-LLL

Mentoring during Vocational Education and Training

Via Tandem Now
Via Tandem Now

All over Europe, young people with a migrant background are still more likely than their native peers to come from a low socio-economic background and to experience difficulties during their educational pathways.

With this in mind, civil society organizations from six European countries (Austria, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Spain and Turkey) set up TANDEM NOW in 2012. Funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission, this initiative offers mentoring for migrant students on their way to a successful vocational education and training (VET) and a later job career.

Seeing the need for specific career orientation and assistance, TANDEM NOW connects students with mentors from their own ethnic communities, who accompany them through their education and training phase. While these mentoring programmes take place in the respective countries, TANDEM NOW members also regularly come together to exchange best practices, improve teaching materials and discuss new ideas.

SIRIUS has recently discussed the important role of VET in preventing social exclusion during one of its stakeholder meetings. By combining this insight with a concrete support project, TANDEM NOW is an initiative to keep an eye on!

Via TANDEM NOWtandem_logo

EPA Conference: Challenges and Opportunities for organised parents in the future of Europe – Brussels – 6 December 2013

epa_logoDate: 6 December 2013

Place: France Room of Thon Hotel EU, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 75, B-1040 Brussels

Time: 12:00 – 18:00

The whole of Europe and the European Parents Association (EPA) itself are facing major challenges these days. The decision makers of the EU are in the final stages of creating a budget to carry out the EU2020 strategy. Understanding the importance of education, it became one of the five major areas of EU2020. The two main targets in education are reducing early school leaving rates to below 10% and increasing the ratio of young people finishing tertiary education to 40%. Another major strategy area is to reach a dramatic decrease in the number of people living in poverty or social exclusion. The role of parents and the importance of involving all parents in education cannot be questioned in reaching these goals.

It has been a challenge for parental associations all over Europe to involve more parents in their day-to-day activities, especially those less advantaged to offer them peer learning activities for a greater success of their children in life.

In the past years EPA became a well-established partner in policy discussions on EU-level. A strong relationship has been built with EU-institutions as well as other European NGOs.

The United Nations are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the International Year of the Family and on this occasion they have published a declaration asking UN member states to recognise and support families. As a follow-up to the European Year of Citizens, in line with the anniversary, there is a proposal for the EU to declare 2014 the European Year of Family and Work Reconciliation. Regardless the success of this initiative 2014 should be a year when the whole of Europe focuses on families and parents in one way or another.

The beginning of the new policy period of the EU, the upcoming European Parliamentary elections and the emphasis on families next year provides EPA a perfect opportunity to meet European partners as well as to talk about the main internal challenges ahead.

The conference is held in English. No simultaneous translation will be organised.

Programme

12:00 – Lunch

13:00 – Opening and welcome words: Mrs. Edit Herczog MEP PES, Dr. Renate Heinisch, EESC

13:45 – Key note presentation. Parenting Support in Europe: Daniel Molinuevo, Eurofund

Round table 1 – European Platforms and Initiatives for EU2020

  • Audrey Frith, EUCIS-LLL – the European Life-Long Learning Platform
  • Stijn Hoorens, EPIC, the European Platform for Investing in Children
  • Ana Gorey, MEET – ECI on a High Quality European Education for All
  • Kathy Kikis-Papadakis, European Policy Network on School Leadership
  • Sarah Cooke O’Dowd, SIRIUS Network on the education of children and young people with a migrant background
  • Daniel Kropf, Learning for Well-Being

15:20 – Coffee break

15:50 – Round table 2 – European NGO’s for EU2020

  • Agnes Uhereczky, COFACE
  • Andrea Witt, Eurochild
  • Blandine Smilansky, Euroclio
  • Ida Kreutzman, OBESSU
  • Marie-france Mailhos, AEDE
  • Chris Harrison, ESHA

Via European Parents Association