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Schools and industry should join forces to reduce skills gap – Marc Durando

Horizon Magazine – Marc Durando

“Schools and industry should join forces to increase the level of skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and better prepare pupils for careers in the sector, according to Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet, a network of 31 European ministries of education. All industrial sectors need qualified professionals in STEM to boost the pace of innovation, employment and productivity, and consequently Europe’s ability to compete globally.”(more)

Hold your tongues: why language learners fear a vote for Brexit

The Guardian – Jo Griffin

“As a nation of proud monoglots, we’ve never much minded that foreign language study has been declining in the UK for years – even though our lack of languages is estimated to cost the economy around £48bn a year…So the potentially damaging impact of Brexit on learning, teaching and using modern foreign languages in the UK is unlikely to cause many sleepless nights. However, for those of us who have studied French, Spanish, German and other languages, used them at work abroad – and in the UK – and whose lives have been enriched immeasurably by being able to access other cultures and perspectives via another language, the risk of these opportunities shrinking further for us and our children in a post-Brexit Britain is not just depressing but downright scary…Studying or speaking a foreign language is necessarily a humbling experience, forcing the speaker to listen and adapt their perspective, chipping away at those philosophical or political certainties that can be limiting, removing barriers and nurturing curiosity. Moreover, in our globalized world, it is a more essential skill than ever, not just for economic success but all trade and negotiation…As Europe has grown closer over the past 20 or so years, so a European sensibility has emerged. This is not just a liking for cheap mini-breaks or familiarity with the menu in an Italian restaurant, but an active engagement with different perspectives and cultures that is rooted in understanding others’ languages. For many educated Europeans, this is simply taken for granted. For many Britons who share this sensibility, Brexit threatens a retreat to a narrow, monoglot world view…”(more)

E.U. Fights to Get Everyone Speaking Same Language on Education

The New York Times – PETER TEFFER

“In 2002, government leaders of the member states called for “at least two foreign languages to be taught from a very early age,” and in 2005, the Union’s executive body, the European Commission, declared a long-term objective ‘to increase individual multilingualism until every citizen has practical skills in at least two languages in addition to his or her mother tongue.'”(more)

Europe’s Educational Evolution

Project Syndicate – Mary McAleese

“Europe is grappling with great challenges – too great for any one country to address. Facing economic crisis, widespread unemployment, and rising competition from developing economies, Europe must adjust to technological advances…Education holds the key not only to better jobs and stronger GDP growth, but also to the cultural, political, and social development that is needed…”(more)

Poland: Education’s superpowers have a new kid on the bloc

The Sydney Morning Herald – Alicia PQ Wittmeyer

“Shanghai (which, as many have pointed out, is not a country), Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Korea and Japan continue to dominate in maths. The US continues to stagnate and declinists continue to fret. But overlooked amid this familiar routine is the ongoing rise of Poland: eastern Europe’s new education powerhouse.”(more)

Malala makes impassioned plea for child education

The Kansas City Star – Staff Writer

” In a speech accepting the EU’s top human rights award, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai has urged the 28-nation bloc to better help the millions of children who are denied a formal education.”(more)