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Good governance and enhanced quality in education

Doc. 13585: compendium of written amendments | Doc. 13585 | Revised version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1The member States of the Council of Europe are confronted with important challenges: economic crisis, massive unemployment, rising tensions and hostility against minority and migrant communities. The Parliamentary Assembly considers that quality of education is critical in determining our societies’ capacity to thrive, and that enhanced European education systems are a fundamental tool to deal effectively with today’s crucial societal challenges.
2Public authorities are responsible for securing the right to education of adequate quality. The budgetary restrictions resulting from the financial crisis considerably limit States’ margin for action. It is vital that we invest in education, but such investment must be made on the basis of global strategies for improving the governance and quality of the general educational framework and a thorough assessment of the functioning of education systems.
3Education systems should be inclusive and quality education should be ensured without discrimination. This is a crucial objective for primary and secondary schools, but it must also be pursued in the context of university education. This means not only that the right of access to the education system must be guaranteed, but also that the system must take account of the diversity of learners’ educational and social needs to foster the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for life in society.
4Moreover, it is not enough to aim at improving people’s capacity to take up professions of their choice: it is indispensable that education helps their personal development and prepares them for responsive and active citizenship. Schools must be the place where young people learn to live in harmony in an environment which respects freedom of thought and conscience, which encourages learners to open up to others and develop a critical mind, which rewards effort and merit while providing those in difficulty with the support they need.
5The Assembly therefore recommends that the member States:
5.1put in place coherent education policies focusing on students’ well-being and achievement, on the need to prevent social exclusion and to improve teachers’ professional abilities and on the effectiveness of the education system as a whole, as well as to ensure a better contribution of schools to the socio-economic progress;
5.2involve all stakeholders in framing and implementing such policies so as to improve communication and synergies;
5.3establish mechanisms for assessment and quality assurance so as to monitor the quality of the education system, the consistency of educational achievements with needs in terms of professional qualifications and democratic citizenship, and the effective and efficient use of resources;
5.4ensure non-discrimination in access to education and take positive steps to counter educational inequalities and the under-performance of certain pupils or students and of certain educational establishments by means of support programmes for the pupils and students who are most frequently victims of discrimination or exclusion, and incentives to attract talented teachers to take up employment in the most difficult classes and schools;

At the end of paragraph 5.4, add the following words: “and act to prevent any kind of separation on the basis of ethnic origin between pupils or students in classes or in schools.”

30 September 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media

In amendment No. 2, before the word “separation”, insert the word “compulsory”.

5.5promote gender equality in and through education; in this respect:

29 September 2014

Tabled by Ms Rózsa HOFFMANN, Mr Zsolt NÉMETH, Mr Serhii SOBOLIEV, Mr Rovshan RZAYEV, Mr Volodymyr ARIEV, Ms Mónika BARTOS

Votes: 7 in favor 60 against 3 abstentions

In the draft resolution, move paragraph 5.5, and its sub-paragraphs, to beneath paragraph 5.11.

Explanatory note

The order of a list always contains a message: it refers to the importance of each subject. The objectives of paragraphs 5.6 to 5.11 take priority over those listed in paragraph 5.5.

5.5.1guarantee to all students the freedom to choose their field of studies;
5.5.2identify and spread good practice in gender-sensitive education;
5.5.3revise teaching curricula and methods with a view to reinforcing non-discriminatory language and non-sexist teaching and to placing greater emphasis on equality and non-violence;
5.5.4meet the needs of young parents, and in particular young women engaged in higher education and research, in terms of family support and childcare;
5.5.5seek more gender balance in teaching and managerial positions at all levels of education;
5.6promote the comprehensive approach to education in the European humanistic tradition, which is key to strengthening democratic citizenship, upholding the respect of human rights and promoting solidarity and social cohesion;
5.7reconsider initial and in-service training programmes for teachers, as well as teaching methods, in particular to take account of new challenges which result from interculturalism, the information society and the pace of innovation in science and technology;
5.8seek to make the teaching profession more attractive; in this respect, consider increasing teachers’ salaries and offer incentives for high-achieving students to enter and stay in the profession;
5.9make better use of the possibilities offered by Internet to modernise the management of educational establishments and to develop innovatory teaching methods and tools that are more suited to the diversity of learners, and promote the acquisition of digital and media skills;
5.10enhance accountability and transparency in education governance to fight corruption; to this end, develop robust audit, monitoring and compliance mechanisms, and reinforce parliamentary control over anti-corruption policy implementation;
5.11develop codes of conduct in schools and higher education institutions with the participation of all relevant stakeholders;

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 5.11, add the following words: ", and to develop and evaluate the civic competences of pupils and students by fostering their sense of responsibility, their co-operation skills and their involvement in school life;”

30 September 2014

Tabled by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media

In amendment No. 3, replace the word “school” by the word “civic”.

5.12make education management less bureaucratic, seeking to reduce the time that teachers and university professors spend dealing with purely administrative matters;
5.13ensure families’ access to complete and clear information about the educational offer, and transparency of the performance of the education institutions;
5.14take into account, in education policy formulation, the assessment of learning outcomes by international quality assurance programmes;
5.15support co-operation on quality assurance, in particular in higher education, with a view to achieving the aims of the Bologna Process and the consolidation of the European Higher Education Area;
5.16look for co-operation and synergies, aimed at increasing the competitiveness of European education at global level, making full use of the Council of Europe’s longstanding expertise in this field;
5.17encourage co-operation between the Council of Europe and active partners in this field, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievements (IEA), the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the Educational Testing Service (ETS), and the networks of national quality assurance agencies.

BDraft Recommendation

1The Parliamentary Assembly, referring to its Resolution … (2014) on good governance and enhanced quality in education, believes that enhancing the quality of education should be fully integrated into the design of education policies at the national, European and international level.
2The Assembly underlines the value of tools developed at international level to assess the quality of the education systems and considers that the Council of Europe should play a stronger role in encouraging the development of national policies coherent with the findings of international quality assurance programmes and in supporting member States in their implementation.
3The Assembly welcomes the proposals put forward by the Conference of Ministers of Education held in Helsinki on 26 and 27 April 2013 and urges the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to ensure adequate follow up to these proposals.
4In addition, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers instruct the Steering Committee for Educational Policy and Practice (CDPPE) to analyse the relevance and impact of the existing national and international quality assessment instruments in the field of education, seeking to identify ways of reinforcing co-operation and synergies between the Council of Europe member States and of increasing the competitiveness of European education at global level.
5The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers consider establishing a permanent committee of experts on higher education.