Bulgarian Presidency calls for clear focus on digital and entrepreneurial skills in school programmes


Photo: European Union

School curricula across the EU should focus on developing the digital and entrepreneurial skills of young Europeans to prepare them for life and work in thе digital age. This would help them not only find jobs, but also use technology for their own well-being and civic participation. At the same time, our society would become more resistant to negative trends such as fake news, propaganda and filter bubbles. These are just a few of the conclusions from today’s conference in Brussels, 'Digital and entrepreneurial skills for inclusive, cohesive and innovative societies', organised by the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the EU.

Commenting on the outcome of the discussions, Denitsa Sacheva, Bulgarian Deputy Minister for Education and Science, who opened the conference on behalf of the Bulgarian Presidency, said:

“It is essential to equip citizens with skills related to cornerstone technologies such as robotics, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and blockchain, in order the reap the maximum benefits of new cutting-edge technologies for the European economy and societies. As boundaries between formal and non-formal education are blurring, education systems need to be brought up to date.”

Ms Sacheva opened the conference together with Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, who spoke about skills as the drivers for innovation.

To push for targeted efforts to develop digital skills and literacy from an early age has been among the top ambitions of the Bulgarian Presidency, which identified young people and the digital economy as two of its four main priorities.

Following the recent launch of the European Commission’s Digital Education Action Plan, which aims to strengthen digital education in Europe, the Bulgarian presidency is now calling for further action to make sure education systems are fit for the realities of modern life. This includes, for example, sufficient funding for education at both national and European level, to equip schools with enough adequate devices and software and also to allow for greater mobility of students, at all levels and in all sectors of education and training. There should be a particular focus on vocational education and training.

Photo: European Union

The participants at today’s conference, who included EU decision-makers and leaders in the digital sector and in the area of entrepreneurial education, largely supported the ideas of the Bulgarian Presidency. They agreed that more effort is indeed needed and committed to working for more investment in educational infrastructure and connectivity, as well as in skills and capacity building for the next generation of Europeans from all socio-economic backgrounds, each of them in their respective area of responsibility.

The Bulgarian presidency will steer further discussions on this topic at its flagship conference ‘Educate to Create: from Digital Consumers to Digital Creators’, to take place in Sofia on 19 and 20 April, in Sofia at which a Sofia Call for Action on Digital Skills and Education will be adopted.

More information about today’s event and the full line-up of participants is available here and here.

More information about the conference ‘Educate to Create: from Digital Consumers to Digital Creators’ is available here.

The recording of the video is avialable here.

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