12/16/2013

Recommendations of the European Year of Citizens 2013 Alliance

It's about Us, It's about Europe!

Towards Democratic European Citizenship!

Sixty-two European networks of associations and non-governmental organisations backed by 22 coalitions
at the national level joined forces to form the European Year of Citizens Alliance 2013 (EYCA) with the aim
of engaging civil society in a broad debate on what European citizenship means today, identifying the
challenges ahead and formulating solutions.

12/13/2013

Social Literacy for the European Citizenship

Report on the International Seminar held in Brussels on 11th December 2013 on Social Literacy for European Citizenship

12/12/2013

Green light for Erasmus+: More than 4 million to get EU grants for skills and employability

Erasmus+, the new EU programme for education, training, youth and sport, due to begin in January, was approved today by the European Parliament. Aimed at boosting skills, employability and supporting the modernisation of education, training and youth systems, the seven-year programme will have a budget of €14.7 billion1 - 40% higher than current levels. More than 4 million people will receive support to study, train, work or volunteer abroad, including 2 million higher education students, 650 000 vocational training students and apprentices, as well as more than 500 000 going on youth exchanges or volunteering abroad. Students planning a full Master's degree abroad, for which national grants or loans are seldom available, will benefit from a new loan guarantee scheme run by the European Investment Fund. Erasmus+ will also provide funding for education and training staff, youth workers and for partnerships between universities, colleges, schools, enterprises, and not-for-profit organisations.

11/21/2013

Erasmus+ approved by the European Parliament

The EU’s new Erasmust+ programme, which will fund grants for students, teachers, trainers and apprentices to study abroad in the EU, was approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday. Youth leaders, volunteers and young sportsmen and women will also be eligible. A new guarantee mechanism will also enable master’s degree students to get cheaper loans to study abroad.

11/20/2013

Championing children's rights in Europe: A European Manifesto

20 November is the Universal Children’s Day,  marking the anniversary of the adoption of the  UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.  This year, major international and European child  rights organisations use the occasion to appeal for  a better understanding of children’s rights at the  European Parliament. By launching a European  Manifesto, we call for a political commitment  to promoting children’s rights in European  Parliament politics in the run-up to  the EP elections 2014. 

11/10/2013

19 days of activism for prevention of abuse and violence against children and youth 1-19 November

The Women’s World Summit Foundation launched the “World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse – 19 November” in the year 2000 and in 2012 began extending that initiative into 19 days. The 19 Days of Activism Campaign runs from November 1-19 each year. The goal of the campaign is to increase commitment, activities and education and to mobilize communities around child abuse prevention.
19 Days of Activism is an international campaign that came about because abuse and violence against children and youth continue to be worldwide problems that violate children’s rights and impair their healthy development.  By focusing on the prevention of diverse types of abuse and violence against children and youth, the campaign aims to continue to bring to light the alarming problem, its multifaceted aspects, and the need to generate sufficient interest and government and public support for better prevention measures.
The 19 Days Campaign serves as a reminder to all of us that there is something each of us can do to make a difference in our community to prevent child abuse.  Prevention is key!  It is the most effective way to protect children from abuse and contributes to creating a culture of non-violence.

11/07/2013

EPNoSL Parent Questionnaire

The European Policy Network on School Leadership (EPNoSL) asked EPA to distribute and promote the anwering of a questionnaire for parents. The aim of the questionnaire is to study the head teachers attributes in
relation to pupils/students transition (from kindergarten to university) and in relation to parents. Please share the link(s) that make it possible for parents in your country to fill it. Also we ask all EPA-members to encourage all parents in the country to do the questionnaire.

11/01/2013

European Online Education and Training Monitor

The annual report Education and Training Monitor presented every autumn by the commission, sets out the progress on the ET 2020 benchmarks and core indicators, including the Europe 2020 headline target on education and training.
It illustrates the evolution of education and training systems across Europe, with a particular focus on the country-specific recommendations adopted in the field of education and training, and contributes to the analytical basis for the next European Semester.

Building together the future of learning - EUCIS-LLL Manifesto for the 2014 EP Elections

header-manifesto-eucis-lll

The 2014 European elections will provide the right momentum to think about the future of learning in Europe. The current economic and social crisis gave a new impetus to deeper cooperation in education and training with a high focus on growth and employment while at the same time austerity measures have weakened our educational systems. EUCIS-LLL believes that a sustainable investment should be made in learning as essential for our social model, in line with their prioritization at EU level. Poor access to lifelong learning limits people’s ability to access quality jobs and participate fully in society. We need a vision to ensure our education and training systems deliver better for economic development, social and civic participation, personal fulfilment and well-being. EUCIS-LLL calls MEPs to consider three top priorities and a set of 12 policy recommendations for lifelong learning in its Manifesto "Building together the future of Learning".

10/25/2013

One million Polish parents protest against government decisions

Since 2009, parents in Poland have been protesting against government’s decision regarding school being obligatory for six year olds. During this time, more than one million signatures have been collected. Parents are very active in the media as well as in parliamentary committees - numerous meetings and debates with politicians are taking place lately.

10/21/2013

Commission launched 'Opening up Education' to boost innovation and digital skills in schools and universities

More than 60% of nine year olds in the EU are in schools which are still not digitally equipped. The European Commission unveiled 'Opening up Education', an action plan on 25 September 2013 to tackle this and other digital problems which are hampering schools and universities from delivering high quality education and the digital skills which 90% of jobs will require by 2020. To help kick-off the initiative, the Commission launched a new website, Open Education Europa, which will allow students, practitioners and educational institutions to share free-to-use open educational resources.

European Parliament report on Rethinking Education

This Parliament report welcomes the Commission Communication “Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes” and makes several observations.

Council Declaration on the European Alliance for Apprenticeships

The Council of the EU has adopted a very important Declaration on The European Alliance for Apprenticeships. To prevent youth unemployment they reinforced the Youth Guarantee at the same time.
The Alliance for Apprenticeships is a multi-stakeholder initiative with two broader aims:
  • to improve the quality and supply of apprenticeships across the EU
  • to change mind-sets towards apprenticeship-type learning
It will do so by a set of more specific objectives: helping to set up, revive or modernise existing apprenticeship schemes, drawing on lessons from successful models and on transnational cooperation, including mobility, by promoting national and transnational partnerships for developing and fostering work-based learning in companies, and by promoting the benefits of apprenticeship systems, in particular to companies, VET providers, students and parents.
Read the full declaration here

The Human Right to Education Declaration

A broad group of civil society networks and organisations, including EAEA, have come together to highlight the compelling case for ensuring that the fulfilment of human rights is at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda in a Civil Society Joint Statement. The education narrative, as well as goals and core indicators, should be grounded in a human rights perspective.

PIAAC results show that parents have to keep learning

The PIAAC (Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) first Survey on Adult Skills by OECD found that there are huge problems with the literacy, numeracy and problem-solving skill of adults. The worst result are in ICT skills, to dear parents, it's time to start learning from our children!

10/11/2013

Symposium on the advancement of language proficiency held in Potsdam from September 20 to September 22, 2013 - news from our member

Resolution 

Integration through education can be achieved by taking several steps:



- teachers need to be qualified for a sensitive use of the German language, as well as other languages pupils may be using
- standardized federal test to evaluate the pupils' language proficiency regardless of their origin
- multiprofessional teams create training material for indiviual programms to increase language proficiency
- compensation for language disadvantages as well as assistance up until a first job qualification is achieved
- standardized federal training plans for teachers, educators and instructors with a compulsive module "German as a foreign language" as well as
  extensive training opportunities for language advancement
- research that is in step with the actual practice, and a direct incorporation of the results at the schools
- a fair cooperation between pupils, parents, schools and company training institutions

Original Press Release in German:

Titel: „Sprachförderung für den  Bildungserfolg“

„Sprachförderung in der Sekundarstufe I und II“  war Thema einer Fachtagung des Bundeselternrats vom 20. bis zum 22. September in Potsdam.  Die wichtigste Erkenntnis fasst der Vorsitzende, Hans-Peter Vogeler, so zusammen: „Lehrkräfte aller Schulformen und aller Fächer brauchen Fortbildung für den sensiblen Umgang mit der deutschen Sprache, aber auch mit anderen Sprachen, die die Schüler mitbringen. Dies wäre ein großer Schritt zur Bildungsgerechtigkeit. Eine Schule, in der viele Sprachen gesprochen werden, ist kein Problemfall, sondern ein Haus der Chancen.“
In den Fachvorträgen wurde deutlich, wie häufig Besonderheiten der deutschen Bildungssprache für Schüler zum Problem werden. Wenn eine intensive und qualitativ hochwertige Sprachförderung betrieben wird, führt das zu deutlich besseren Schülerleistungen.  Die Tagungsteilnehmer fordern in ihrer Resolution (siehe
http://tinyurl.com/mp33gyz) bundesweite Standards für die Sprachförderung in allen Fächern aller Schulformen und Sprachförderung als Teil der Aus- und Fortbildung aller Pädagogen.

10/09/2013

Social Networks: We Are Running Out of Excuses!

We are the first generation of parents and educators learning to live with social networks – the first!

It is surprising that there should appear in the world of education, where everything would seem to have been invented over 2,500 years, new resources driving us to such a thorough recycling effort. Yet it happens.
It would be hard to imagine Aristotle’s work if he had been able to connect to Facebook and enter into a dialogue with, say, a Persian philosopher, and chat on Twitter with Alexander the Great, while exchanging whatsapp messages with some erudite Egyptian priest from Ptolemy’s court. The change that these new forms of communication bring to our lives is so great that we need to stop, take a deep breath and, after a while, think what we mean to do, where we want to go, and what our attitude ought to be in the face of the overwhelming response that our children have given to those new forms.

10/01/2013

Emily O'Reilly begins work as European Ombudsman

Following her election by the European Parliament in July, Emily O'Reilly steps down as IrishOmbudsman and begins work as European Ombudsman on 1 October 2013. She followsP. Nikiforos Diamandouros, who retires after serving as European Ombudsman for more than ten years.

9/26/2013

9th ERNAPE Conference in Lisbon

The 9th Conference of the European Research Network about Parents in Education (ERNAPE) was held in Lisbon at the beginning of September 2013. The researchers inspired by the theory and practice of Professor Joyce Epstein - formerly parental involvement, nowdays school partnership – from Chile to Hong Kong gathered to share research data and ideas with each other.

9/16/2013

Newsflash Austria



The Austrian school year started on September 2nd in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland and on September 9th in the other Federal Provinces.

Parents’ Health Platform – Plattform Elterngesundheit (PEG): In September 2013 PEG, EPA’s Alcuin Award Winner 2012, founded an independent association to engage more effectively for and with parents. 

Lack of teachers: the school year started with a debate about available teachers: Media complained and parents’ representatives warned that not enough teachers would be available to provide the required lessons. The Minister of education and other school representatives denied. Though negligible vacancies were reported it is a fact that several “reserve teachers” are employed to provide the required capacity. Many of them are student teachers without final qualification.

Parents are concerned about the promise “one sports’ lesson every day”. Lobbying came from the Federal Austrian Sports’ Organisation, confirmation and promise from political representatives. But neither teachers, nor sports’ facilities and required scheduling time are available. Should it finally be extracurricular activities paid by parents?

For about a year new legal regulations for teachers’ employment and career were negotiated. Parents’ representatives clarified not to engage in employment regulations. But they clearly demanded a better profiling of teachers’ duties focusing on the “fuzzy” out-of-classroom tasks (seeing parents, preparing lessons, correcting homeworks etc.). Media finally end in bashing the teachers’ trade union, trade union talks about strikes – and parents are annoyed that their demands have been completely ignored in the draft. Hopefully there will be a restart after governmental elections.

Dramatic decrease of non-teaching staff employed at Austrian schools: School psychologists as well as secretaries and house care personnel are not replaced after retiring. External services are provided but cannot replace the qualified persons. Parents’ concerns have not been answered by political representatives.

Newsflash from Board Members

Benedikte Ask-Skotte: Denmark right now!

We have this spring had a conflict between the teachers and the municipalities’. One month of lock-out. And this conflict is still making tracks in developing the school. The government has made a reform that right now is going to be law and start at the 1/8-2014.
Here are the main points of the agreement:
• A lesson in sports and physical exercise every day.
• Several hours into Danish and mathematics from 4th to 9th class.
• Students have English as early as 1 class.
• Students have German or French from 5 class.
• Craft and design, new subjects and replace woodwork and needlework.
• Home economics renewed for madkundskab.
• New National information center for history and heritage.
• Several electives from 7 class.
• The final exams should be given increased importance of inclusion in secondary schools.
• Increased parental influence and student involvement.
• Strengthened class management and reduced anxiety in elementary school.
• More flexible class formation rules with clearer emphasis on the parent class.
• All teachers should by 2020 have teaching skills - equivalent to the main subject - in the subjects they teach in.
• Training of school principals, teachers and educators in the school.
• Closer cooperation between teachers, educators, and staff with other skills.
• Corps of learning consultants.
• New Council for Children's Learning.
• A number of regulatory simplification of the Education Act so that municipalities and schools have greater freedom to organize teaching in school.

Bert-Jan Kollmer: From the Netherlands
This school year a new kind of school opened it's doors in the Netherlands, the Steve Jobsschool. A school founded by parents and making use of iPads for all the children. A schoolmodel in which the children are more in control of their learning strategy then on 'normal' schools. The teachers are more coaching then teaching. There are no strict time tables and the children might learn at home just as easy as as school, only the inspection won't allow that to a great extent. Of course the opinions in the Netherlands are divided. On the one hand the protagonists who are fond of innovation and believe in the selfsupporting capacities of their children. On the other hand the sceptics, who think every child needs structure and for example believe that children also should learn how to write. Where the truth lays is not the most important thing at this moment. More important it is to evaluate intensively and draw final conclusions afterwards. Eventhough my personal opinion is that if a major success factor for this new model is that the children are just as self-supporting and smart as Steve Jobs himself was, there won't be enough children in the Netherlands to fill even one half class room. And more then twelve schools opened their doors already. So we'll give it chance see afterwards.


José-Manuel Prats: The main issues that most concern at present of education in Spain
The parent involvement is scarce and limited to some aspects that the school can not provide (extracurricular activities, dining, etc..) 
The parent representation on advisory bodies and councils is not enough, since no less than 9%, when the parents are the primary educators. 
The amendment to the Education Act. There is a deep ideological debate and understanding of the education system. 
There are serious threats to the right of parents and schools to receive public funding for an educational service of public interest in quality they provide. 
There is a high rate of school failure (25-30%) and high rate of early dropout. 
There is no an homogeneous system of external evaluation of students. 
There is no system of evaluating teachers or schools. 
There is an imbalance between school failure and the number of students entering university. Vocational training is not prestigious neither effective. 
The ineffectiveness of learning second and third languages ​​(English, French, German ...) in the general education system (specially in the public schools). 
The lack of positive performance in the PISA results in the past nine years. 
The financial resources for education, both public and publicly funded: teachers, study grants, transportation, dining, etc..

Elzbieta Piotrowska-Gromniak: Polish projects in ICT
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS POLAND, in cooperation with NGOs, has launched Coding School programme in Polish primary schools. Parents in Education Association is one of three partners in this project and coordinates work of ten schools. Its aim is to disseminate programming lessons in schools in Poland. The Coding School test lesson had already taken place. Pupils aged 10-12 were invited to attend and give their try in programming. The coding  language that children are to learn is Scratch, developed in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Programming in Scratch is easy, as it uses simple commands which can be put together in a way analogical to Lego bricks to create a game, a media demonstration and other programmes. Despite its simplicity, Scratch gives the children almost infinite opportunities. The project aims to train approximately 70 teachers so that they will be able to teach basics of programming in their schools. Any methodological help will be provided throughout the scheme. Only in its pilot stage, the Coding School will cover 34 schools in Poland, train 70 teachers and 2.000 pupils. It will be continued in 2014. 

The second project of  is:"Khan Academy Plus - Creation of Educational Resources in the Warsaw. District of Education" has wan approval of the Office for Education of the Municipality of Warsaw and will be put into action starting October 2013.The resulting actions will focus on training teachers from Warsaw primary and secondary schools by parents with professional ITC skill.. Teachers will learn how to use educational resources like Khan Academy, about the "flipped classroom" concept, how to personalize education in their classroom and, most importantly, how to create their own educational podcasts a'a Khan Academy. It is assumed that with self-created tools teachers will be able most efficiently to convince their students about possibilities of internet-aided education.

Stefano Crico: The main issues for education in Italy at the present time
1. There is not a homogeneous system of external evaluation of students. There is a lot of difference in preparation and evaluation criteria among different regions in Italy (especially North and South). The system introduced so far has shown limitations. 
2. Quality of schools, especially in the public system, depends heavily upon the personal quality of the individual teachers. There is no system of evaluating teachers or schools in order to improve the overall quality.
3. Still there is lack to the right of parents and schools to receive public funding for the quality educational service of public interest they provide. 
4. Learning second and third languages (English, French, German, Spanish ...) is still far from being 
very effective.

Eszter Salamon: The nationalisation of the Hungarian school system and its effect
The Hungarian government has decided to nationalise and centralise the public school system. Their decision has been opposed by the educational politicians of the larger governing party. The decision heavily effected the decentralised system establihsed in 1993 that was based on subsidiarity and involvement of all stakeholders in the decision-making on school level. 
The main effects of the changes:
- uniform curriculum with a hugely increased academic content was introduced for all schools with a narrow choice of textbooks to be reduced to a uniform textbook for next year, leaving no time and possibility to competence building,
- at the same time all decision-making power of school heads were taken, they became simple administrators,
- reduced school leaving age from 18 to 16 with the possibility to participate at the labour market from 17 only,
- all students have to stay within the school building until 4 pm even if their lessons finish much earlier, they have no organised activities or the circumstances to do their homework; parents may ask the schoolhead to let the children go but he/she can deny this request without an explanation,
- all rights of school parental committees to participate in school were abolished - the official explanation of the government is that 'no layman will interfere with the teaching process and school life',
- policemen on duty became members of the teaching staff who are both responsible to the intitute centrally governing schools and the police; they have the right to 'use the reasonable physical enforcement if they think it necessary' in the school against minors,
- if a schoolchild-looking young person is in the street or at a public space during school hours, ordinary policemen are forcing him/her either back to school or to the police station,
- the workload of teachers was heavily increased from 22 taught lessons to 24-26 while they have to stay within the school building sometimes substituting, sometimes doing nothing (we are still unsure since the distribution of lessons in most schools is still not approved so those teaching the children don't even know if they have a job or not) resulting in time for both preparation and administration of 8 hours per week (about 15 minutes preparation time per lesson)
- the number of compulsory lessons was increased from 20 to 25 in 1st grade, from 22,5 to 28 in 5th grade and from 27,5 to 35 in 9th grade - it means that even 1st graders will have about 40 working hours per week including homework, going up to about 63 for 9th graders (changes were introduced at these three grades)
- a compulsory 5 PE lessons per week was introduced without any facility development which means that students have PE lessons in dangerous places like corridors, in the street or at odd hours,
- compulsory religious education or ethic up to the choice of parents was introduced with only the Catholic and Calvinist Churches and a sect undertaking these lessons, while the ethics curriculum is based on Catholic ethics, intolerant and a homophobic point of view,
- a 'great increase of teachers' wages' was announced creating very bad attitude towards teachers in the society while the increase doesn't equal to the increased workload; what is more as the structure of wages was modified those who are experienced and more qualified will even suffer a nominal income decrease.
Parents' associations like ESZME are taken aback by the lack of action from teachers' trade unions while trying to organise a total boycott of schools. 
  


8/15/2013

Grants for parents and teachers to attend a European course together

In 2011-2012 EPA was involved in the European project Parents As Successful teacherS (PASS - www.ta-parents.eu).  Some EPA members participated in the PASS final conference in Vienna in ovember 2012. We are now happy to let you know that TA Group (www.ta-group.eu), the coordinating institution for the PASS project, is offering a PASS course for parents in April 2014 that is included in the Comenius-Grundtvig catalogue of the European Commission.

7/26/2013

MEET Competition

pencil1 Competition GuidelinesMEET has published a competition announcement. If you are 17+ and you have your view and vision on what a High Quality European Education means you can submit your paper until 22 September. You can win an iPad and a free trip to Brussels.

7/24/2013

HabEat Workshop in Warsaw

On 13th of June the representatives of Barents Association took part in  STAKEHOLDERS WORKSHOP organized by HABEAT and Warsaw University of Life Science, Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Science in Warsaw, Poland. EPA member association Parents in Education reports.

7/17/2013

European Education for All ... three months to go...


Raising awareness on the role of education and the added-value of European education through MEET is not only a great exercise in democracy but a way of eventually feeding our ideas into policy and advocacy processes, a cause MEET will remain committed to beyond the timeframe of the ECI.
Dear Executive Committee, Pledge Partners, country coordinators and friends,
It has been a year since the Commission accepted our European Citizens' initiative "A High Quality European Education for All" and, to be honest, it has been a steep learning curve for us all. Initially, there were the legal and technical aspects to getting the on-line collection system certified and up and running on the 1st January 2013. Then, there were the challenges of a European regulation, which has different requirements depending on the member state. In addition, different languages, data protection rules and educational systems.
What is very exciting and interesting, and at the heart of MEET, is the process of building up our network, interacting with new partners, bringing-on-board campaign coordinators throughout Europe. People full of enthusiasm, ideas, a belief in Europe and above all, the wish to change the education dynamic in Europe. All willing to invest their time and energy on a voluntary basis. It is a long, ongoing process, which is very rewarding and which will continue  long after the deadline date of 1st November 2013.  
So three months to go. We have the summer to sharpen our message, accelerate the campaign, social networking and outreach to citizens so as to get them to better understand our message and sign the initiative here. We will have a MEETing on Saturday 21st September, Brussels. Save the date, more info to follow.

6/30/2013

Parental involvement training for parents - EPA workshop in Dublin 14 June 2013

In one of the workshops at the last General Assembly of EPA the Irish example was presented and the participants discussed their national experiences.

6/26/2013

Thematic Working Group on Early School Leaving


The Thematic Working Group (TWG) on Early School Leaving (ESL) met in Brussels on June 25th and 26th. The group consists of delegates from EU member-states – representatives from Ministries of Education and experts – as well as international experts (OECD, EURYDICE). In addition several European NGOs (ETUCE, OBESSU, EPA, COFACE) are represented. EPA’s delegate is former President Johannes Theiner who was given the mandate to continue some of his activities.

6/20/2013

Workshop at the EPA GA in Dublin on the Home- School Relationship: Cross-cultural comparisons

Information covered in the presentation included; the information source which was the (1) Progress International Reading Literacy Studies (PIRLS), (2) the home-school interaction, (3) comparing various countries to inform government on how their students were doing, (4)does any of this information matter and finally  (5) the thoughts of the various EU members attending the presentation.

6/09/2013

We are supporting the ECI on education

EPA supports and became a pledge partner of the MEET European Citizens' Initiative for a High Quality European Education for All. EPA is encouraging its members to keep their independent role and decide in their bodies if they will support this initiative on national level. To help this decision we are providing information on the ECI below. You can sign the ECI here

6/01/2013

1st June - The Global Day of Parents

The General Assembly of the United Nations has decided on 17th September 2012 that from this year on 1st June will be observed as the Global Day of Parents honouring parents throughout the world. It invited all UN Member Stated to celebrate the Global Day of Parents in full partnership with civil society, particularly involving young people and children.

5/12/2013

ATEE Spring Conference in Riga

The pedagogic partnership of parents with teachers is one of EPA's key paradigms. Thus the board decided to register the EPA-President as member of ATEE, thei Association for Teacher Education in Europe. EPA's contributions in prior conferences dealt with co-operation between teachers and parents as a key issue in teachers' initial and in-service-training and introduced the European agenda against Early School Leaving (ESL).

5/02/2013

UNICEF ans CSR: Children's Rights and Business Principles


Developed by UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children – the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (the Principles) are the first comprehensive set of principles to guide companies on the full range of actions they can take in the workplace, marketplace and community to respect and support children’s rights. While the business and human rights agenda has evolved significantly in recent years, a child rights perspective has not yet been explicitly addressed.

4/22/2013

EPA Newsletter 1/2013



Dear ladies and gentlemen,
dear colleagues and friends of EPA!

Some time has passed since we delivered our last newsletter. EPA has not been inactive since but we encountered some challenges by limiting EPA’s spending for secretariat support. Now the Newsletter is out and you find all the links in this BLOG:

The following annexed files are included in the newsletter but partially don' have an active link - please blame Microsoft Office for this ;-( 

4/21/2013

Constitution of a Thematic Working Group Early School Leaving in Vocational Education and Training


Early School Leaving had been assigned a key issue in the ET2020 strategy. The ambitious target was set to lower the rate of young people without upper secondary education to 10 % by 2020. The commission agreed on a general definition: ESL was measured at the age cohort 18 an 24 accounting for “NEETs”, young adults Not in Employment, Education or Training. Some discrepancies are caused as on national level different definitions had been established and are still in use in data collection.

By December 2011 DG EAC1 established a High Level Thematic Working Group (TWG) on ESL. This consists of representatives of national ministries of education and experts related to those. In addition several European stakeholder associations were invited to participate. Among them are EPA, OBESSU2 representing the school students in upper secondary education and ETUCE3 representing teachers.

Forms for (potential) EPA members - Vers. 2013

Dear (potential) EPA-members,

This is to disseminate documents intended to update the association's knowledge about membes.

To keep contact with your association and  learn about new representatives, new contact details etc. please check out our actual member's form.

If you are new and want to apply fo membership please send us a letter of application and annex the membership form.

3/07/2013

New Comparative Study on School Leadership


A comparative study on Leadership and Governance in Schools was completed by the European Federation
of Education Employers (EFEE). EFEE chose this subject for its first project in the well-founded belief that leadership at school level is of critical importance to the improvement of student results and that there is increasing demand for school leaders and those who hold them into account to rise to new challenges in a rapidly changing environment. While not advocating a common approach to matters best left to national or sub-national level, EFEE wished from the start of the project to acquire a better understanding of the various different approaches and their relative strengths and weaknesses.

3/03/2013

Centralised school system educates a homogeneous nation


1.5 million employees, life-long teaching career, unified curriculum prepared by the ministry, large classes, high number of lessons, subject-centered teaching, traditional frontal teaching methods – characteristics of the French school system, the basis of present changes of our education system.
I’m making this interview with Nelly Guet, education expert who was a school principal in France for 22 years as well as directing schools in Switzerland and Germany. She was a board member of ESHA for years so she is familiar with European trends and recommendations. I was asking her about French traditions and the results of their school system.

3/01/2013

Taught time at school - new Eurydice report


The Eurydice data collection on taught time targets the recommended compulsory curriculum by
grades/stages for full time compulsory education. The intended curriculum, its goals, structure,
subjects and the notional workload for students can be based on regulations or standards defined by
central (or top-level) education authorities or may be established as a set of recommendations at regional
level. In some countries steering documents only include information of main goals of the national
framework curriculum and delegate the taught time allocation to regional/local authorities or to the
discretion of individual schools. In the present data collection, all these sources of information are used to
complement the time allocation between subjects and/or educational stages.

2/10/2013

Nordic co-operation


The Nordic Council
The Nordic Council was formed by Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden in 1952. Finland joined in 1955.The Nordic Council is the official inter-parliamentary body in the Nordic Region. The Council has 87 elected members from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden as well as from the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland.

Rethinking Education strategy of the EU

There is an ongoing debate on the document of the European Commission Rethinking education: investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes. Parents should have a say both on the European level and also by triggering and participating at the national debates initiated by the EC.

The starting point is: "European education and training systems continue to fall short in providing the right skills for employability, and are not working adequately  with business or employers to bring the learning experience closer to the reality of the working environment. These skills mismatches are a growing concern for European industry's competitiveness."

1/22/2013

Digital Natives and their Digital Immigrant Parents/Teachers

12 years ago, in 2001 Marc Prensky published a very interesting and still up-to-date  article (years before social networks) about Digital Natives, the generations that were born in the digital age, using computers all their lives and Digital Immigrants who learnt to use IT later at a later age.