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With the new norm resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, the need for the development of digital skills and relevant infrastructure has come to the forefront. Digital skills levels remain insufficient, with the digital divide persisting with regard to gender, socio-economic background and urban/rural areas. At the same time, an ecosystem that delivers accessible, high-quality and inclusive digital education is of high importance.
Against this background and in line with the Digital Education Action Plan and the Structured Dialogue on Digital education and skills, the European Commission has launched two new initiatives that aim to gather feedback from civil society and set out what needs to be done to promote digital skills early on and at all stages of education and training and to ensure everyone has access to digital education.
The first Call for Evidence ("Digital education – enabling factors for success") aims to support member states in the digital transformation of their education and training systems by outlining the key enabling factors for an effective and inclusive digital education ecosystem. The initiative covers all levels of education and training and will contribute to the modernisation of education and training systems, the enhancement of territorial cohesion, social inclusion and equity, while also contributing to driving economic growth, job creation and competitiveness.
The second Call for Evidence ("Digital skills – improving their provision") aims to promote a quality, inclusive, coherent and coordinated approach to the provision of digital skills across all levels of education and training, and to contribute to the achievement of the EU digital skills targets outlined by the Digital Decade: 80% of adults with at least basic digital skills and 20 million ICT specialists employed in the EU by 2030.
The European Commission will use the evidence gathered through these Calls for two Proposals for Council recommendation in the area of digital skills and education, planned for the first quarter of 2023. The feedback is now open with a deadline to have your say being on the 16 September 2022 (midnight Brussels time).
ACA in its turn will be providing feedback for the higher education sector, gathered from its member organisations – National Agencies for Erasmus+ through the New Mobility Formats Thematic Peer Group and relevant findings deriving from exploratory projects (HIBlend).