The Education System and the Economy (News and Research 166)
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel to:
“for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty” https://www.nobelprize.org/
The Education System and the Economy: Building Human Capital in Greece, took place October 9, 2019, organized by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) and the World Bank… Arup Banerji referred to the importance of education in the modern world, stressing that a high level of education and skills development are the basis for the creation of good, highly skilled jobs…
The Minister of Education of Greece, Niki Kerameus, in her speech reiterated that education and the effective reform of the education system are strategic goals of the new government. “We have set six key, strategic goals that are aligned with our government’s education program and outline the government’s priorities for all levels of education. Priorities for pursuing a comprehensive approach to education…”Ms. Kerameus noted.
The Minister of Education presented in detail the Government’s strategic objectives:
- Greater freedom and greater autonomy for schools and universities
- A more meaningful interface with the labor market.
- Equal opportunities for all
- Emphasis on non-cognitive and digital skills
- Strengthen human capital indicators, which will boost social and economic development
- Adoption of evidence-based policies
In his speech, Harry Patrinos, focused on the pivotal role of education for individuals to achieve the high performance they desire. A high-level education sector, he stressed, will support Greece’s recovery and exit from the economic recession of the last decade. “We need to work together to invest in education so that young people can use their potential.”
In his speech, the IOBE General Manager, Professor Nikos Vettas, emphasized the crucial role of the education system in transforming the Greek economy and adapting it to new conditions and requirements. Mr. Denis Crowley, Head of Country Analysis Unit, European Commission Directorate-General for Education, presented some key findings on the Greek education system from the EU Monitoring Report on Education and Training as well as the challenges and opportunities presented. Mr Crowley noted that the teaching profession in Greece remains attractive, despite the impact of the crisis, but is significantly lagging in development and career prospects. He noted that spending on education is one of the lowest in the EU and is mainly about wages and noted the increase in school dropouts especially in rural areas. He also noted the problems in the labor market and the difficulty of finding a job even with highly trained workers.
My interview in TO BHMA
I joined the conference Understanding the Post-truth Society: from fake news, datafication & mass surveillance, 10-11 October 2019, in Valletta, Malta. The conference set forth to create a forum for discussion, learning and networking with conversations delving into post-truth related topics such as populism, polarization, mass surveillance, echo chambers and the conversion of popularity into legitimacy. The post-truth society was defined as the “circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in sharping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief … among a large group of people in a defined territory.” The two-day event brought together speakers, panelists and delegates, including an invited panel of students for a Youth Summit, to discuss media, technology, education and government. I discussed the need for higher levels of basic and advanced literacy skills at all levels and used the results of my research on automation and its implications for education as background. The diverse backgrounds present at the conference allowed for the airing of different perspectives. There were some speakers who are using information and data sciences to promote truth in media and raise awareness in schools. This is a positive step forward. Malta is at the forefront of using technology in its education system. It is one of the first countries to use blockchain technology to distribute educational credentials. The Ministry of Education has a Directorate for Digital Literacy and Transversal Skills which is helping them make the shift from traditional teaching, learning and assessment to 21st-century learning environments and competences. They recently instituted the One Tablet Per Child program: “every boy and girl in the 4th year of primary school, across all schools in Malta, will be given a LearnPad Workbook 10.1” (https://digitalliteracy.skola.edu.mt/).
Education and Training Monitor – European Commission. For the eighth consecutive year, the 2019 Education and Training Monitor gathers a wide range of evidence to indicate the evolution of national education and training systems across the European Union (EU). The report measures countries’ progress towards the targets of the Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020) strategic framework for European cooperation in these fields. It also provides insights into measures taken to address education-related issues as part of the European Semester process. Furthermore, the report helps to identify where EU funding for education, training and skills should be targeted through the EU’s next long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). The Monitor comprises a cross-country comparison and 28 in-depth country reports. Teachers are the main focus of the latest edition. Teachers are considered as the factor having the strongest impact on students’ learning within the school environment. Using new data, the Monitor demonstrates the common challenges that EU Member States face to attract and maintain the best teaching professionals. This challenge is expected to become all the more prominent during the next decade, during which a wave of retirements of experienced teachers is expected…Approximately 20% of 15 year old pupils across Europe still remain at risk of educational poverty, as they do not possess basic competences in literacy and mathematics or sufficient knowledge of science subjects. Additional priority areas for monitoring include: language skills and adult learning, teachers, investment in education and training, ICT education, entrepreneurship in education, and vocational education and training (VET).