Europe has a new plan for digital education: now it’s time to turn it into action
DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the Commission’s update of its Digital Education Action Plan. The EU and the Member States must now quickly turn this plan into action, by investing in digital skills and connectivity for a rapid post-COVID recovery and a more resilient and digitally proficient society.
Today, Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel have unveiled the new Digital Education Action Plan, an ambitious strategy to transform Europe’s educational systems to make them fit for the digital age.
Director-General of DIGITALEUROPE Cecilia Bonefeld-Dahl said:
“We must act now to enable future generations to be not only users, but creators of innovative technology solutions.
The Commission’s renewed focus on digital education is encouraging. COVID has made it even more urgent that every citizen, from the youngest age, has the right to participate in the digital society and to have access to digital services.
The recovery funds need to back up these aims with concrete national and pan-European projects to boost digital skills. For example, we should harness artificial intelligence to forecast what skills will be needed in the future, and make sure that our teachers have the right training and equipment to deliver quality classes remotely.”
In implementing the Digital Education Action Plan, we welcome the European Commission’s emphasis on more cooperation with and among Member States. We urge all relevant authorities to take into account the following recommendations:
Make use of available funds to invest in connectivity, network infrastructure,and suitable equipment in schools, to make the most of innovative hybrid learning models, mixing in-person and remote learning.
Direct public funding to developing new teaching models and promoting 21st century skills at all education levels, from school to university. Europe’s support – for example, through the newly proposed European Digital Education Hub – will be essential to provide harmonised guidance to national and regional authorities and promote the same pace of digital upskilling throughout Europe.
Identify and scale up existing public-private partnerships and encourage new ones among all stakeholders. The private sector, ministries, training and education providers, and NGOs must work together to develop ad-hoc distance learning modules and toolkits for teachers.
Develop new, modernised curricula and digital upskilling that include the basics of programming and teacher training and guidance. This is crucial to ensure that educational systems meet the needs of society and labour markets, and address digital skills shortages as well as lack of technology uptake.