EDUCATION COUNCIL: MINISTERS EMPHASISE LINK BETWEEN EDUCATION, TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT.

 
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New indicators.

The Council adopted conclusions on the development of new indicators for education and training. These should serve to make education and training systems in Europe a global reference for quality by 2010 in the context of the Lisbon Strategy. A series of indicators have been in place since 2002 and the aim now is to obtain valid data on these indicators by setting new ones.

The conclusions therefore call on the Commission to continue drawing up strategies in the areas covered by indicators on which data already exists (effectiveness of investment, information technology, mobility, training of adults and teachers, vocational training, social inclusion and active citizenship). The Commission should also present proposals on indicators for which there is currently no comparable data (ability to learn to learn, linguistic skills, other areas). There is also a need for cooperation in areas covered by indicators on which international organisations like the OECD and UNESCO are planning new studies (ICTs, adult skills, teacher training). Finally, the Commission has been asked to bring forward new strategies and new instruments on data collection, "taking account of the fact that the development of new indicators will fully respect the member states' own competence regarding the organisation of education systems and should not impose any undue financial or administrative burden".

Multilingualism.

Luxembourg's Minister for National Education and Vocational Training, Mady Delvaux-Stehres, who chaired the session, briefed the Council on a conference on teaching multilingualism staged by the Luxembourg Presidency on March 10 and 11. The conference, entitled "The evolution of teaching in Europe - Multilingualism opens up new opportunities", looked specifically at the CLIL-EMILE (Content and Language Integrated Learning) teaching method. Following the debate, there was general agreement on the need to raise awareness among the general public and within education systems regarding the benefits of non-linguistic studies (history, geography, biology, etc.) in a foreign language. This method can contribute to individual and collective prosperity and enhance social cohesion.

Employment.

The Council exchanged views on the proposed integrated guidelines for growth and employment...

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