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Council recommendations for digital education: focus on skills and enabling factors

On 23 November, the Council of the European Union adopted the two proposals for Council Recommendations aimed at supporting member states in providing high-quality, inclusive, and accessible digital education and training to develop European citizens' digital skills (for more details, see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, April 2023). With this package, the Council is addressing the need to make education fit for a genuine digital transformation and able to keep pace with the times, while providing the necessary skills and competences in education and training.

The recommendations on the key enabling factors for successful digital education and training and on improving the provision of digital skills and competences in education and training emphasise the necessity of updating education systems to align with the digital era. This includes equipping people with the necessary skills and competences for using digital technology. Digital skills and competences should be accessible to everyone, regardless of age or background while educational institutions must consider both the opportunities and risks associated with technology. By 2030, the EU aims for 80% of its population aged 16-74 to possess at least basic digital skills, a target highlighted by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Member states are encouraged to develop national and regional strategies for digital education. This includes setting objectives, targeting hard-to-reach groups, enhancing digital skills in primary, secondary, and higher education, and providing digital learning opportunities for adults. The recommendations also advise on integrating digital technologies in teaching, supporting the development of digital educational tools, ensuring cybersecurity in education, and investing in digital infrastructure and accessibility.

Overall, these measures aim to prepare the population for the digital future, ensuring that education systems are resilient, accessible, high-quality, and inclusive. The European Commission will be monitoring the implementation of these recommendations in member states and will report to the Council within five years.

Read the press release.