Slow progress in improving European education targets
Slow progress on EU education targets
A new report published by the European Commission on Tuesday (16 May) shows that progress in Europe’s education and training systems is not enough to reach the ambitious goals set by member states six years ago.
Some positive trends were achieved in certain sectors, but overall progress is insufficient.
Five benchmarks are considered to be the key pillars for improving education and training in Europe.
“It is clear that additional efforts are urgently needed to achieve the five benchmarks by 2010,” said education commissioner Jan Figel. “Without better education and training systems, and wider participation in them, Europe’s competitiveness cannot be improved. Investment in human capital is therefore clearly a vital investment in Europe’s future,” he added.
The first goal was having early school leavers accounting for no more than 10 per cent of school leavers in all member states. According to the report however, 6 million young people within the EU have left education prematurely – 2 million of these would have to continue their education in order for the 10 per cent threshold to be adhered to.
Poland (5.5%), Slovakia (5.8%) and the Czech Republic (6.4%) are the countries with the smallest number of early school leavers.
Another important target is increasing graduates in maths, science and technology. At the moment Ireland, with 24.2 per thousand of the population, has the largest number of graduates in these subjects.
Estonia emerges at the top of scale for female participation in education with 42 percent of graduates being women.
Denmark doing well
A 12.5 per cent rate in lifelong learning is another benchmark far from being reached. Another 4 million adults would need to participate in lifelong learning for the goal to be achieved.
The best-performing EU countries in this regard are Sweden (34.7%), the UK (29.1%) and Denmark (27.6%)
Source: EU Observer