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The European Commission (EC) recently launched an EU-wide open public consultation for its forthcoming new Digital Education Action Plan, which aims to cover, amongst others, also the EU's education and training experience during the Coronavirus crisis. The consultation aims to draw lessons from the experiences of distance and online learning to inform the proposals of the Action Plan.
The consultation is open to all interested citizens and stakeholder organisations. In particular, the consultation seeks the views of learners, educators, education staff, parents/carers/family members of learners, as well as representatives of education and training institutions. Governmental and non-governmental organisations (international, European, national, regional and local) as well as representatives from the public sector and industry are also encouraged to respond.
Digital transformation is one of the horizontal issues spanning across all policy areas, and one which increased in relevance in the past few months also in the field of education, given the shift to online teaching of most higher education institutions in Europe, as a result of the inevitable campus closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The consultation is supported also by three political heavyweights, in an effort to increase synergies between related policy areas – Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager in charge of „A Europe Fit for the Digital Age“, EC's vice-president Margaritis Schinas who is „Promoting our European Way of Life“ and Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. The three highlighted various angles from which this process should be crucial in putting forward a European vision and impactful actions for digital education.
The consultation is open until 4 September 2020 (midnight Brussels time). Interested organisations and individuals can respond to the consultation by filling in an online questionnaire, which will be available, by 9 July, in all official EU languages. For reasons of transparency, organisations and businesses taking part in public consultations are asked to register in the EU’s Transparency Register first.