Education is a fundamental human right. Access to quality education is necessary to implement this right.
While the ET2020 strategy is being revised, we have to insist on the importance of education not only in itself but because it has spilling effects in many other fields. Considering any population, the better educated they are, the better their health, social inclusion, democratic participation… are.
Access to education is a game changer and needs to be ensured for all, especially in a context of increasing costs (tuition fees,…) and reduced public funding. Besides the quantitative approach that results from it, the qualitative focus is essential. What we saw until now within ET2020 framework is a stress put on quantitative elements forgetting that access to education isn’t always enough. Equity, effectiveness, articulation between formal and non-formal education (to address early drop-out for instance, but also to achieve a comprehensive education of all) should be part of our advocacy work for a quality education. In this matter, real political will is necessary to disseminate the good practices that already exist. We do have answers to the identified issues, we just need to define a clear political structure to act on it.
Education, as formal, non-formal and informal learning, has to be considered in its complexity and not through a few specific focuses. For instance, we need to work on a clear framework for the recognition of skills developed in non-formal and informal educational processes to strengthen the employability especially of those excluded from the workforce. But, education’s goal isn’t only to train workers. Developing active citizenship and social inclusion contributes to making education a central issue, especially considering the crisis Europe is going through.