Monday

16th Sep 2019

Focus

EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems

  • Education commissioner Navracsics said school students should have 'at least one entrepreneurial experience before they leave compulsory education, in primary or secondary schools' (Photo: Pixabay)

The European Commission said on Wednesday (17 January) that pupils' education has to be improved through work experiences while at school, a wider knowledge of the European Union and better digital skills.

These proposals are part of a wider EU strategy that concerns the future of citizens' education.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Pupils don't have the right attitudes "to face a volatile job markets and fast changing societies," EU education commissioner Tibor Navracsics warned.

That is why they should have "at least one entrepreneurial experience before they leave compulsory education, in primary or secondary schools," the commissioner added.

Besides that, the commission calls on member states to create platforms to bring together schools and businesses, train teachers, and create mini 'companies' within schools.

Entrepreneurial competences, the commission's proposal explains, help to develop attitudes "including creativity, initiative-taking, teamwork, understanding of risk and a sense of responsibility."

A European education for youngsters to make them "engaged citizens with a strong sense of belonging" to the EU was a paramount importance, Navracsics added.

That is because the widespread lack of knowledge of the Union, of its functioning and its objectives "favours misinformation" the commission warned in its proposal.

Such misinformation and fake news can "put the foundation of societies at risk," Navracsics added.

The commission sees mobility as a tool to increase European identity, and intends to boost it by continuing to fund the programmes such as Erasmus+ and especially short-term exchanges among European schools.

Members of the Erasmus generation have "better skills and opportunities" and the business community welcome them, said Navracsics.

This is why the commissioner vowed to get as much funds "as we can" for Erasmus+.

Other instruments will address virtual mobility, including one million teachers and schools in the so-called e-twinning network, a platform that allows pupils and teachers to communicate, collaborate and develop projects through a "learning community."

Another initiative that the commission will promote is the development of digital skills to fill the gap between the use of digital technology in everyday life and in education.

90 percent of jobs require digital literacy

The problem is serious, EU digital commissioner Mariya Gabriel warned: "while 90 percent of future jobs require some level of digital literacy, 44 percent of Europeans lack basic digital skills."

Developing high-speed broadband connections is also part of the proposals.

Only 18 percent of classrooms are internet-equipped and schools are often unaware of how to use EU funds, said the education commissioner.

Other measures will include the development of a self-assessment tool to help schools better use technology for teaching and learning, and a initiative aimed at raising girls' interest in scientific and digital matters.

Wednesday's proposals follow a commission's initiative last November – supported later that month by the EU leaders in Gothenburg – for the creation of a European Education Area by 2025, focused on raising EU citizens' digital skills, EU identity and mobility.

Further steps will be discussed during at next week's first education summit in Brussels (25 January) where 24 EU education ministers will meet experts.

The European Commission has limited competencies in the area of education.

However, explained Navracsics, the EU executive is willing to "encourage member states to push issues forward, organise platforms, events and working groups, help governments to introduce measures."

"We will keep this kind of political influence" the commissioner vowed. "I hope that we will manage to reach consensus - so far there has been," he added.

Exclusive

Women shun EU-funded site for female entrepreneurs

Wegate.eu, which received €1.2m in EU money since its launch almost two years ago, has less than a thousand registered users - from a possible target audience of at least 10 million.

News in Brief

  1. Nearly 100 refugees evacuated from Libya to Italy
  2. Juncker to meet Johnson on Monday
  3. First Hungary 'Article 7' hearing set for Monday
  4. Vestager picks Danish EU ambassador as cabinet head
  5. Commissioner hearings will start 30 September
  6. Italy says EU countries agree to take in rescued migrants
  7. Germany to organise Libya conference on arms embargo
  8. European Parliament to support another Brexit delay

Supported by

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. Brexit and new commission in focus This WEEK
  2. As recession looms Europe needs more spending
  3. How should the EU handle Russia now?
  4. EU defence bravado criticised by auditors
  5. Central European leaders demand EU Balkan accession
  6. Luxembourg's cannabis legalisation is EU opportunity
  7. The Catalan National Day has been a success. Why?
  8. Why I'm voting against the von der Leyen commission

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us