Thursday 25th June 2020

TiLL : What perspective for European teacher’s qualification at Covid time?

The German presidency has recently taken the lead of the European Council and has changed its priorities to face the Covid-19 crisis. Health and fighting the pandemic will be the top priorities of the Presidency, followed by the negotiations concerning the withdrawal of the UK, and then finally topics such as asylum system and digitalisation. In this situation, we can wonder to what extent education and qualification policies would be renewed and implemented by the Council?

However the European Commission seems to be willing to address the issue of the future skills needed in education : Ms Catherine Sustek, member of the Cabinet of Vice-President Schinas, evoked during the webinar organised by the Lifelong Learning Platform, the upcoming initiatives of the Commission, including the much-needed revision of the Skills Agenda. Indeed the perspective of the 2016 Skills Agenda was very work-oriented as we can assess by reading the agenda moto: “Working together to strengthen human capital, employability and competitiveness”. This restricted vision of what skills are meant to be should be in the future agenda enlarged to incorporate skills for individual’s development, as is advocating Jonathan Michie, from the Department for continuing Education at Oxford, during the LLLP Webinar about lifelong learning for sustainable societies. He emphasis the need for there to be a mix between transversal skills and technical skills, and highlight the necessity to consider innovation, creativity and collaboration as key skills.

However the Skills Agenda has set the basis for future enhancement. The second action in the Agenda adopted in 2016 is for instance still very relevant as it included an action for “European Qualifications Framework”. The TiLL approach and tools pursue the same goals described in this 2nd action as they are participating to “support better understanding of qualifications and make better use of all available skills in the European labour market” at the teacher’s and educator’s level. A development of this perspective in the upcoming new skills agenda would undoubtfully benefit to the perspective developed in the TiLL project.

The project’s recommendations with regard to such a renewal of the Skills Agenda could be, at first, to further support teachers and educators in professional upskilling and career development. Secondly, to promote mobility of the teaching staff among European countries thanks to common European Framework such as the one developed during the TiLL project : “European Qualification of Teacher Competences for Lifelong Learning”. Finally, all European Institution including the Council could promote the use of experiential, collaborative and connected learning and teaching within the frame of the digitalisation strategy in the area of Education and Lifelong Learning.