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Young Europeans: an urgent educational challenge

Doc. 13155: compendium of written amendments | Doc. 13155 | Final version

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ADraft Resolution

1The Parliamentary Assembly recalls that education is a pillar of youth empowerment and a prerequisite for personal fulfilment, social inclusion, active citizenship, employability and entrepreneurship. It welcomes the recently adopted Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2012)13 on ensuring quality education, which calls for educational provision that develops each pupil’s and student’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential.
2The Assembly regrets the current very high rates of youth unemployment. It notes the mismatch between the skills of the unemployed and those required for the available jobs, which questions the capability of the education and training systems across Europe to provide pupils and students with the necessary skills for them to access the job market.
3Bearing in mind the principle of lifelong learning, the Assembly notes that non-formal and informal education are in general undervalued in comparison with the higher status given to formal education. There is a need to recognise the contribution that all learning experiences can bring to personal development. The validation of competences acquired through non-formal learning and youth work should be considered as important elements for the promotion of young people’s autonomy.
4Education, however, is not only about preparing pupils and students to become part of a highly skilled workforce, but has a value in itself. It must be aimed at nurturing human talent and creativity, and at contributing to personal development, including the capacity to appreciate culture and to get involved in cultural life, as well as to sustainable cultural, socio-economic and political development of society at large.
5The Assembly calls on member States to adopt a more holistic approach to education, to secure the provision of adequate resources for education – not below 6% of the gross domestic product – and to take action to:
5.1enhance the traditional formal education setting, and in particular to:
5.1.1invest in effective guidance and counselling for all pupils and students, helping them to get an overview of different learning and career opportunities and supporting them in finding an educational and/or career pathway suitable for them;
5.1.2develop policies in youth mobility – including mobility through international student exchange programmes at European level – out-of-school education/learning, voluntary service and youth information and participation;
5.1.3integrate education for democratic citizenship and human rights in national curricula and ensure that schools promote mutual respect and develop anti-violence and anti-discrimination policies, to combat different forms of violence, bullying, intolerant behaviour and self-harm;
5.1.4establish attractive conditions for and explore ways of enhancing the status of the teaching profession;
5.2improve recognition of and support for new learning settings, and in particular to:
5.2.1intensify efforts aimed at the recognition of youth work and non-formal and informal learning, taking into account the proposals put forward by the “Strasbourg Process” on the recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning;
5.2.2support the use of formal education facilities by civil society organisations providing both students and teachers with additional opportunities for non-formal and lifelong learning;
5.2.3encourage different forms of practical occupational experiences which allow pupils and students to apply what they have learned and to familiarise themselves with different career paths and opportunities;
5.2.4promote entrepreneurship education and value the role that youth organisations can play in supporting the development of self-employment prospects for young people;
5.2.5encourage the development of youth workers’ leadership competences by promoting the use of the European Portfolio for Youth Leaders and Youth Workers;
5.3ensure inclusion, and in particular to:
5.3.1facilitate access to education for children and young people from disadvantaged groups;
5.3.2ensure proper information to parents about the educational system and its different pathways and help them support adolescents in their educational choices;
5.3.3provide teacher training to equip teachers with intercultural competences, and the capability to deal with ethnic, cultural and religious diversity;
5.3.4create conditions to prevent young people from disadvantaged groups from leaving school early, including through targeted financial support for secondary students to enable them to stay in full-time education.

BDraft Recommendation

1The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution … (2013) on young Europeans: an urgent educational challenge, and its Resolution … (2013) and Recommendation … (2013) on culture and education through national parliaments: European policies, recommends that the Committee of Ministers urge the Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE), in co-operation with the European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ) and the Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ) to:
1.1prepare a policy instrument defining principles for the recognition and validation of non-formal education, taking due account of the proposals put forward by the “Strasbourg Process” on the recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning;
1.2collect and analyse good practices and develop on this basis policy guidelines on how to:
1.2.1foster the spirit of entrepreneurship in education;
1.2.2offset inequalities in access to education and prevent early school leaving;
1.2.3combat bullying and all forms of violence at school.
2The Assembly also recommends that the Committee of Ministers invite the Joint Council on Youth to develop policy measures aimed at reducing the risk of self-harm among young people.

In the draft recommendation, after paragraph 2, insert the following paragraph:

"The Assembly recommends to the Committee of Ministers to allocate sufficient resources to education, culture and youth in the Budget and the Programme of Activities for 2014-2015, taking into account that these dimensions of work are among the main priorities of the Council of Europe and are of vital importance for 800 million Europeans."

Explanatory note

“Taking into consideration the importance of the Council of Europe activities in key spheres, such as education, culture and youth, it is vital that the Assembly supports securing sufficient financing of the above dimensions of work of the Council of Europe in the Budget and the Programme of Activities for 2014-2015.”