Teaching Europe – developing a toolkit for schools (own-initiative opinion)

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EESRK nuomonė: Teaching Europe – developing a toolkit for schools (own-initiative opinion)

Key points

The EESC:

  • considers the Paris Declaration of 2015 and the 2018 Council Recommendation as a new starting point for fostering the European dimension of teaching and supporting the educational staff in this effort; believes there is an information gap in the education sector as regards the understanding about the role of the EU and its impact on European citizens' lives; therefore encourages to focus on EU education for young people in order to foster the development of a European citizenship;
  • aims with this opinion, as a follow-up to "Education about the EU" (SOC/612), to focus strongly on education about the EU in general and specifically on Teaching Europe in schools;
  • acknowledges that several measures have been already taken at EU level and in the MS and that excellent resources are available at both levels, but thinks that the information about the materials available should be clarified and improved; the focus should therefore be on adapting and improving the already existing tools;
  • calls for several measures to be undertaken, in order to improve the accessibility of the resources in the field of EU education, including: a critical research about the situation in MS concerning EU education in schools and in teacher training; an inventory of the teaching and learning materials resulting from key EU-funded projects; a small toolkit for learners and teachers in each school; a High-Level group of experts on "Teaching Europe";
  • underlines that teachers play a key role in this process, and that they should be supported through a focus on teacher training at EU and MS level; further believes that young people should acquire a kind of "EU literacy" upon finishing the school system;
  • considers that the renewal of the EC and the EP, as well as the new Commissioner for education, culture, youth and sport represent a crucial opportunity to draw attention to Teaching Europe at School;
  • recognizes that the main responsibility for education lies within the MS, but emphasises the key role of the EU in proposing measures to improve general knowledge of the EU;
  • supports initiatives of the EP and the Commission, such as the "Learning EU @ school" initiative implemented by the Commission at the request of the EP in 2011-2013, and the EP's resolution "Learning EU at school" in 2016, and hopes that this EESC initiative will represent a strong impetus in this direction;
  • underlines the crucial role of teachers and the importance of a special programme for them, considering the specific needs in MS, and further emphasises the importance of making information accessible also to the general public.