Progressing to a revised European Key Competences Framework
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On June 14th, a conference on the European Key Competences Framework for Lifelong Learning brought together a wide range of stakeholders: representatives from ministries of education and also education and training organisations and academia, covering all levels of education, and including non-formal and informal learning, youth work, sport and culture.
The initial framework dates from December 2006, when the Council of the European Union adopted a Recommendation describing the eight key competences for lifelong learning that every person should develop for an active life in society. This conference marked the end of a three-month public consultation on the review of the Framework, which had been announced by the Commission in 2016, with the adoption of the New Skills Agenda for Europe.
While the Framework has already been widely and successfully used in Member States as part of their own development of education and training, a review was necessary because of the rapid changes occurring in our societies in the ten years since its initial adoption. The definitions of each key competence are being updated to better reflect current societal developments and to make sure that the Framework is still fit for purpose for the next 10 years.
The conference began with a presentation of the main results of the public consultation. Two thirds of the responses indicated that the Framework needs only minor changes. This demonstrates that the EU Framework is a relevant tool for education and training – almost 80% of respondents mark this as the main strength of the Framework. At the same time, the main weakness of the Framework identified by respondents is that it has not developed over time.
Participants at the conference were then invited, in workshops and open table discussion, to explore competence areas of: literacy and language, citizenship, personal and social development, cultural awareness and expression, digital, entrepreneurship, and sustainability. In a final round of workshops, they then looked at the future use of the Framework from different angles, such as providing guidance material for policy makers, peer learning opportunities, and the crucial aspect of assessment.
In November 2017, the Commission intends to make its proposal on the review of the Key Competences Framework to the Council of the EU (Education, Culture, Youth and Sport configuration).