PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT: The EESC votes in favour of the EESC opinion on High Quality Education for All

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has voted in favour of the EESC opinion on High Quality Education for All, presented on the 22nd of February 2017. This endorsement comes only a few days after the Council Conclusions on Inclusion in Diversity to achieve a High Quality Education for All were adopted during the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting of 17th February 2017. The theme of High Quality Education for All is a priority of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the education sector.

The EESC continued to stress upon the significance of the Council Conclusions. The latter stated that education has a prime role to play in nurturing inclusion and respect for diversity in the EU. Education is not only about preparing individuals for employment, but also about fostering an active and responsible citizenship by equipping individuals with social, civic and intercultural competences. However, education needs to be more inclusive, meeting the needs of different learners with diverse abilities in formal, non-formal and informal settings. Education should be driven by equality but also by the notion of equity-education systems must move away from the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ mentality to provide high-quality education for all.

In its opinion, the EESC encouraged Member States to take a stronger commitment in the field of high-quality education for all to achieve the EU objectives for 2020 and the UN objectives for 2030. It highlighted the significance of both state funding and EU funding for all areas of education. The EESC also singled out the growing importance of Vocational Education and Training (VET) as a means to fight unemployment, as well as the need to make it more accessible and relevant. The EESC also stressed the need to create training opportunities for marginalised groups within society and to recognise the outcomes of non-formal and informal education. The opinion also described teachers as ‘the architects of the future’, emphasising their key role and the need to support them in their continuous professional development.

The EESC has listed a number of commitments that would contribute to the achievement of High Quality Education for All, such as investing in better education infrastructure and tools, such as ICT; creating training opportunities for young school-leavers, low-skilled workers and migrant workers without neglecting digital literacy; and promoting cooperation and dialogue between companies and education and training systems and their providers with a view to identifying skills needs and promote employment. The EESC also encourages Member States and social partners to place social dialogue in the education sector on the policy agenda. Correlation between the national and the European social dialogue needs to be strengthened to meet the Europe 2020 strategy and Agenda 2030 goals, as it brings together European employers and employees. Malta’s policies in education already reflect a large number of such commitments and initiatives, showing that Malta is on the right track and leading by example.

Finally, whilst education remains a prerogative of national governments, the EESC believes that the EU should use its influence and financial capacity to help Member States invest more in high quality education for all. In this regard, the EESC has expressed its satisfaction with the fact that the Maltese Presidency has chosen High Quality Education for All as an overarching theme in education.

Source: Government of Malta

PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT: The EESC votes in favour of the EESC opinion on High Quality Education for All

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has voted in favour of the EESC opinion on High Quality Education for All, presented on the 22nd of February 2017. This endorsement comes only a few days after the Council Conclusions on Inclusion in Diversity to achieve a High Quality Education for All were adopted during the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting of 17th February 2017. The theme of High Quality Education for All is a priority of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the education sector.

The EESC continued to stress upon the significance of the Council Conclusions. The latter stated that education has a prime role to play in nurturing inclusion and respect for diversity in the EU. Education is not only about preparing individuals for employment, but also about fostering an active and responsible citizenship by equipping individuals with social, civic and intercultural competences. However, education needs to be more inclusive, meeting the needs of different learners with diverse abilities in formal, non-formal and informal settings. Education should be driven by equality but also by the notion of equity-education systems must move away from the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ mentality to provide high-quality education for all.

In its opinion, the EESC encouraged Member States to take a stronger commitment in the field of high-quality education for all to achieve the EU objectives for 2020 and the UN objectives for 2030. It highlighted the significance of both state funding and EU funding for all areas of education. The EESC also singled out the growing importance of Vocational Education and Training (VET) as a means to fight unemployment, as well as the need to make it more accessible and relevant. The EESC also stressed the need to create training opportunities for marginalised groups within society and to recognise the outcomes of non-formal and informal education. The opinion also described teachers as ‘the architects of the future’, emphasising their key role and the need to support them in their continuous professional development.

The EESC has listed a number of commitments that would contribute to the achievement of High Quality Education for All, such as investing in better education infrastructure and tools, such as ICT; creating training opportunities for young school-leavers, low-skilled workers and migrant workers without neglecting digital literacy; and promoting cooperation and dialogue between companies and education and training systems and their providers with a view to identifying skills needs and promote employment. The EESC also encourages Member States and social partners to place social dialogue in the education sector on the policy agenda. Correlation between the national and the European social dialogue needs to be strengthened to meet the Europe 2020 strategy and Agenda 2030 goals, as it brings together European employers and employees. Malta’s policies in education already reflect a large number of such commitments and initiatives, showing that Malta is on the right track and leading by example.

Finally, whilst education remains a prerogative of national governments, the EESC believes that the EU should use its influence and financial capacity to help Member States invest more in high quality education for all. In this regard, the EESC has expressed its satisfaction with the fact that the Maltese Presidency has chosen High Quality Education for All as an overarching theme in education.

Source: Government of Malta