Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education
 
14th Session - Brussels, Belgium, 7-9 May 1985

Resolution on education and training for young people aged 16 to 19: problems and prospects

Statement on European co-operation on education

Statement on migrants' education

Statement on education and equality of opportunity for girls and women

Resolution on education and training for young people aged 16 to 19: problems and prospects  

(adopted during the Fourteenth Session of the Standing Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Brussels, 7-9 May 1985)

The European Ministers of Education, at the Fourteenth Session of their Standing Conference,

WELCOMING the opportunity provided by the Standing Conference to discuss and compare the various types of education and training available to young people aged 16 to 19 in the participating countries ;

HAVING HELD a fruitful exchange of views on the Discussion Paper presented by the Committee of Senior Officials on "Education and training for young people aged 16 to 19 : problems and prospects,",- and considered the background report on this subject by Professor Dr. Georges De Corte

CONSCIOUS that the social and economic context in which education and training are provided is characterised more than ever before by uncertainty and rapid change, particularly as regards the future pattern of employment and the development of new technologies, and that hence a positive attitude to mobility is called for ;

CONCERNED that the transition from education and training to work has become more and more difficult for young people, a situation which requires better understanding and therefore closer ties between education and training on the one hand and the economic world on the other

RECALLING Recommendation No. R (83) 13 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the role of the secondary school in preparing young people for life ;

REAFFIRMING the Communiqué adopted on 21 November 1984 by the OECD Education Committee meeting at Ministerial level, in particular paragraphs 14-18 on "improving the routes from school to active life" ;

TAKING NOTE of the Resolution adopted on 11 July 1983 by the Council of the European Community concerning vocational training policies in the European Community in the 1980s, in particular Section III

ACKNOWLEDGING the results already achieved in the context of the European Community's First Action Programme on the transition of young people from education to working life and looking forward to studying the results of the Second Action Programme

WELCOMING the ideas and network of contacts developed through the "Youth Guarantee" project of the Nordic Council of Ministers and looking forward to examining the results of the current "School/Working Life" project concerning guidance for young people in their transition from school to work

LOOKING FORWARD to examining the results of Unesco's Programme V.3 on "Education and the World of Work". which aims to support the efforts of member States to make education more relevant to society and to improve the links between education and the world of work ;

RECOMMEND that education and training for young people aged 16 to 19 should be guided by the following principles

General objectives

1. It is necessary for education and training to equip 16 to 19 year olds

i. to lead a fulfilling personal life and develop self-confidence;

ii. to take an active and responsible place in a democratic society open to international understanding and cooperation;

iii. successfully to enter the labour market and/or education and training at a more advanced level;

iv. to value their cultural heritage and put their leisure time to constructive use.

2.       (i) Education and training should ensure that young people are equipped with basic knowledge and skills and should seek particularly to develop a facility for clear and critical thinking, an open and resourceful approach to problem-solving and decision-making, social responsibility, and familiarity with the principles and applications of the new information technologies. Provision should also be made for the acquisition of an adequate knowledge of at least one modern language in order to facilitate mobility and international understanding and cooperation, and to ensure a better appreciation of Europe's cultural diversity.

           (ii) Appropriate measures should be taken to help those young migrants who have left the compulsory school with insufficient command of the language of the host country and without qualifications. Provision should include reinforcement in language adapted to their needs and guidance aimed at integrating them into suitable education and training.

3. Education and training should aim to encourage a creative and versatile attitude to active life and especially a willingness and ability to learn and to adjust to change throughout life.

4. Education should develop in young people a sense of initiative and enterprise and encourage them to see themselves not only as job seekers but also as potential Job creators. 

Structures

5. Education and training should be sufficiently broad and flexible to ensure that transfer is possible between lines and levels of provision, including access to a diversified tertiary and higher education. There should be no dead-ends within the system.

6. Governments should strive to have prestige differentials between different lines of education and training reduced and ensure that all young people are offered some form of general and vocational training.

Assessment

7. Assessment should be descriptive of the competences acquired by young people, so that a systematic record of achievement can be built up.

The relationship of education and training with the socio-economic world

8.      (i) Closer ties should be established between education/training and the socio-economic world, for example through school/firm contracts, teacher secondment, local industry/education boards, etc. A closer relationship should permit, inter alia,

i. all young people in this age group to be offered work experience as early as possible as an integral part of their education and/or training;

ii. pupils and trainees to gain practical experience, for example in providing services, programming computers or maintaining machinery, which can at the same time allow them to develop entrepreneurial skills, for example by managing "mini-companies";

iii. joint discussion of curriculum development and occupational profiles;

iv. young people to train on up-to-date equipment.

         (ii) To this end cooperation should be strengthened between Ministries of Education and other agencies with responsibility for matters relating to education and training, such as Manpower Commissions, Ministries of Labour, Trade and Industry, etc.

Guidance and counselling

9. Orientation towards different lines of education and training should be based on capabilities and not on prestige. It is important that guidance and counselling should help young people to define their particular aptitudes and interests with a view to making sound educational and career decisions. They should also prepare them for such general aspects of life after school as how to make positive use of their leisure time, especially by participating fully in social and cultural activities. This will require close cooperation between guidance specialists and teachers, who should be trained accordingly.

10. Positive measures should be taken to encourage girls in this age group to take advantage of the full range of guidance possibilities and of educational, training and career options.

11. Particular attention should be paid to the specific problems which orientation of migrants' children towards upper secondary education may involve.

Training of teachers and trainers

12. The initial training of teachers and trainers, whether in their chosen subject, in technology or in educational theory and practice, should prepare them to deal with the diversity of teaching situations and populations they are likely to encounter, to keep up with the rapid pace
of change, to develop qualities of leadership, and to gain a better understanding of the world of work. Moreover, they should be given the opportunity to up-date their knowledge and skills and to learn new methods through in-service training. Teachers and trainers employed in vocational training courses should themselves have relevant vocational training and. experience.

Special measures

13. Efforts should be pursued and intensified with a view to giving the necessary help and support to young people facing difficulties in their education or training, in the framework of action designed to reduce inequalities and to combat failure.

14. To ensure that the education and training offered is more acceptable to these young people and to some of their teachers and trainers, it is essential to be sensitive to and make allowance for the difficulties encountered by various categories of youngsters with regard to their integration into society.

15. Positive action should be taken to encourage physically and mentally disabled young people to continue into post-compulsory levels of education and training. At the end of their schooling or training, every effort should be made to facilitate their participation in society and their integration into the economic world by ensuring, in cooperation with the appropriate social agencies, that suitable support and guidance are available

RECOMMEND ALSO that

- measures should be taken to reduce the number of young people leaving school without qualification and to give them the opportunity to obtain a qualification after having left school;

- all young people having left school without any qualification should be offered, for a period of at least six months following full-time compulsory schooling, a full-time programme comprising additional basic training and/or a first work experience preparing them for an occupation

INVITE the international Organisations and the European Community to continue their work in this field, in particular with a view to

i. analysing the core skills required by all those leaving education and training between the ages of 16 and 19;
ii. identifying factors contributing to greater flexibility within education and training systems for the age group, including access to higher and tertiary education;
iii. examining new forms of assessment for this age group, stressing individual achievements;
iv. exploring ways of promoting a closer relationship between education/ training and the economic world;
v. studying the question of how the initial and in-service training of teachers and trainers should be adapted to changing requirements;
vi. bringing together those responsible for pilot projects in the field of education and training for 16 to 19 year olds, e.g. on the new information technologies
EXPRESS THE HOPE that the appropriate non-governmental organisations will continue to be associated in this work.

Statement on European co-operation on education  

(adopted during the Fourteenth Session of the Standing Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Brussels, 7-9 May 1985)

The European Ministers of Education, meeting for the Fourteenth Session of their Standing Conference,

EXPRESS their warmest gratitude to the Belgian authorities for their generous hospitality during the Session;

THANK

i. Unesco, OECD, the Council of Europe, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the European Community for their detailed contributions to the progress report on "European co-operation on education";

ii. Mr. Emmanuel Forest for his introduction to the report and for his valuable comparative study on the working methods used by the Organisations and the European Community to further European co-operation on education;

STRESS the importance of such co-operation as an invaluable input into the educational policy-making process of member States and as a source of great enrichment to all those concerned with Education, including teachers, administrators, pupils, students and parents ;

WELCOME the growing practice of the Organisations and the European Community to include more people in co-operation on education through the use of operational methods involving multiple contacts at all levels, e.g. study visits, networks of pilot projects, exchange schemes, and co-operation with international non-governmental organisations ;

ENCOURAGE the Organisations and the European Community to pursue their already fruitful efforts in areas that are fundamental for the future of education systems, in. particular :

i. the new information technologies;

ii. the improvement of teachers' initial and in-service training;

iii. the adaptation of education for disadvantaged groups;

iv. the development of language teaching;

v. the definition of educational objectives
(e.g. through research co-operation);
vi. more solid preparation for working life;

vii. the identification and rapid, widespread dissemination of available information and documentation (e.g. expert studies and research results).

An in-depth analysis of the work undertaken in one or more of the areas listed above should be carried out ;

REAFFIRM, while acknowledging the differences in objectives and membership between the various Organisations and the European Community, the need to intensify multilateral consultation between them at the programme planning stage so as to ensure coordination and avoid duplication of effort;

ASK the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to study how senior officials with responsibility for school education in member States could help to ensure that the Resolutions adopted by the Standing Conference:

i. are reflected in the CDCC's programme;

ii. have a genuine impact in member States.

These aims could be achieved through conferences or meetings under the auspices of the CDCC.

INSTRUCT the Committee of Senior Officials to prepare a study for the Fifteenth Session on the ways and means by which the member States

i. organise their participation in the activities of the Organisations and the European Community to ensure maximum effectiveness, and

ii. disseminate and apply the results of this work so as to ensure maximum benefit for their education systems ;

ACCEPT WITH PLEASURE the invitation of the Finnish authorities to hold the Fifteenth Session in Helsinki in May 1987

AGREE that the main theme for the Fifteenth Session should be "New challenges for teachers and teacher-education".

Statement on migrants' education  

(adopted during the Fourteenth Session of the Standing Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Brussels, 7-9 May 1985)

The European Ministers of Education, meeting for the Fourteenth Session of their Standing Conference,

REAFFIRMING the principles laid down in the Resolutions on the educational and cultural development of migrants adopted at previous Sessions of the Standing Conference, particularly with regard to taking account of migrants' needs in this area, cooperation between receiving countries and countries of origin, the promotion of education with an intercultural dimension, concern for mutual respect and tolerance, and the importance of teachers' initial and in-service training;

HAVING REGARD to the wishes and recommendations expressed at the Confrontation "Aliens in Europe : a threat or an asset?" organised by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 20 and 21 March 1984, to Recommendation R (84) 18 on the training of teachers in education for intercultural understanding, notably in a context of migration, adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in October 1984, and to the proposals and decisions emanating from:

Organisations such as Unesco, OECD and the Nordic Council of Ministers;

the European Community;

non-governmental organisations

WELCOMING the progress made and the research undertaken by the member States as shown in Professor Eugene Egger's stock-taking report presented at this Session and REALISING at the same time the need to step up the efforts being made;

OBSERVING:

the changing trends in migration, 

their close links with the labour market, 

the diversification of cultural situations bound up with migration, 

the complexity of the problems which often fall outside the area of responsibility of Ministries of Education;

CONSIDERING the concern of the countries of origin and the receiving countries to see that migrants and their children enjoy equal opportunities in all types of education, to enable them to participate fully in the social life of the host country and to maintain links with their culture of origin;

NOTE that in the context of the Council for Cultural Cooperation (CDCC) a symposium will be held in the Netherlands in 1986 to conclude CDCC Project No. 7 on migrants' education;

INSTRUCT their Senior Officials to report to the Fifteenth Session of the Standing Conference on the results of the symposium with a view to the possible organisation in 1987/88, under the aegis of the Standing Conference but with the participation of other ministries concerned, of an ad hoc Conference on the education and training of migrants and their children.

EXPRESS THE WISH that statistics an migrants' education be kept regularly up to date.

Statement on education and equality of opportunity for girls and women  

(adopted during the Fourteenth Session of the Standing Conference of  Ministers of Education of the Council of Europe, Brussels, 7-9 May 1985)

The European Ministers of Education, meeting for the Fourteenth Session of their Standing Conference,

RECALLING their Statement on Education and Equality of Opportunity for Girls and Women, adopted at their Eleventh Session in The Hague in 1979;

EMPHASISING the importance of equal opportunities for girls and women in social life and education in particular;

WELCOMING the activities of the Council of Europe and other participating Organisations concerning this topic;

NOTING the progress report presented to them by the Rapporteur, Drs. Anne Cels-Offermans;

UNDERLINING the importance of this subject as one aspect of the main theme of the present Session;

RECOMMEND that:

A. The member States

(1) further implement in their national policies the Statement of 1979 on equal opportunities for girls and women in education,

(2) maintain on a regular up to date basis appropriate statistics on equal opportunities for girls and women in education and training.

B. 1. The international Organisations and the European Community

i. continue their efforts to ensure the comparability of statistics and their application in the policy-making process,

ii. give special attention to equality of opportunity for girls and women when considering general policy issues.

2. The Council of Europe in particular

i.    pay special attention to educational material and research on the subject of equality of opportunity for girls and women in the context of the European Documentation and Information System for Education (EUDISED),

ii. consider whether a special project on equal opportunities for girls and women in education might be included in the intergovernmental work programme of the Council of Europe;

UNDERTAKE to review at one of their forthcoming Sessions the further implementation of the Statement in the light of the findings of the progress report, paying particular attention to special groups mentioned in the Statement (migrant girls and women, girls and women seeking their first employment and women who have stopped working for some time and want to take up employment again).