During a two-day meeting organized by the German Council Presidency, held in Osnabrück, Germany, the EU education ministers discussed how Coronavirus has affected the education sector in Europe as well as provided solutions to support the vocational education and training in Europe.
The German Federal Education Minister, Anja Karliczek expressed her delight over the meeting pointing out that in this event, EU ministers have exchanged experiences and ideas as well as have shown that cooperation within the EU can continue even during these tough times, Erudera College News reports.
“During the past two days, we have taken a major step forward together for the EU in terms of the important topics of education and training. All of the participants expressed the wish to strengthen vocational education and training in Europe over the coming years,” she said.
According to Minister Karliczek, the latest European Skills Agenda published by the European Commission sets the right standards for the future, as it aims to increase youth employment across Europe through vocational education. She also added that along with her European colleagues they would make sure to adopt the suggestions of the German Council Presidency regarding the future of vocational education and training during the next meeting of the Education Council, which is expected to be held in November.
Moreover, she announced that during this meeting, a draft proposal for the “Osnabruck Declaration” was presented, in which the EU member states highlighted four important goals to strengthen the vocational education and training system. This declaration will continue to be discussed, and it is expected to be signed by all EU education ministers during the November’s meeting.
Whereas, the President of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany and Education Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Stefanie Hubig talked about the essential role that vocational education and training has in the European countries, and stressed the challenges that the Coronavirus has triggered in education institutions across Europe.
“The virus does not stop at borders, and still it has made national borders within Europe clearly visible again. In this pandemic and beyond, we need to stand together; we need a sense of community instead of division. We need European answers. And we have found these answers with the Osnabrück. The declaration that will give important impetus for vocational education and training in Europe,” she added.
Among the challenges that COVID-19 has caused to the education sector not only in Europe but worldwide is that a lot of students could lose the opportunity to study abroad due to travel bans imposed by many countries.
Lately, under the hashtag #EducationIsNotTourism, students who were expected to continue their studies at German universities have been calling on German authorities to help them from losing their chances of studying in Germany.