Annual conference of the European Network of Education Councils (EUNEC) “Early School Leaving”

19 November 2013, Last updated at 10:33 EEST
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On 18–20 November 2013, the Seimas will host the EUNEC annual conference on Early School Leaving. At the Conference to be held in the Seimas on 18–20 November 2013, members of the European Network of Education Councils (EUNEC) jointly with the Lithuanian education stakeholders will address the problem of early school leavers and the ways for the European Union Member States to solve the issue.

The EUNEC considers that it is thanks to European cooperation that this topic is high on the policy agenda and has become a top priority. During the Conference, national education councils will make presentations on the current reform situation in their respective countries and identify what could be done in national policy-making to promote reform. Annalisa Cannoni from the European Commission will cover the actions of the Commission in this domain. Dr Paul Downes, Director of the Educational Disadvantage Centre and Senior Lecturer in Education (Psychology) from St Patrick's College, as well as Jean-Pascal Lüthi from the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation and Martine Poirier from Sheerbrooke University will share their insights. The situation in Lithuania will be covered by Dr Saulius Zybartas, Director of the Department of General Education and Vocational Training of the Ministry of Education and Science, and Gražvydas Kazakevičius, Director of the National Agency for School Evaluation.

The objective of reducing the number of early school leavers is a central target of both the “Education and Training 2020” work programme and the Europe 2020 Strategy. By 2020, the share of early school leavers has to be reduced to 10%. The concern of the European Union is legitimate: research demonstrates that there is a relation between early school leaving and problems related to participation in various domains, including but not limited to employment, citizenship, healthcare, social status, and culture. Moreover, low qualification has a negative impact on future generations. According to the most recent data from the OECD, the economic and social difficulties caused by the crisis hit the less-educated individuals hardest. The unemployment gap between well-educated young people and those who left school early became even deeper during the crisis.

The theme of the Vilnius Conference is closely linked to the subjects of former EUNEC events: the conference on career guidance (Budapest 2009), the conference on new skills and new jobs (Lisbon 2011), the conference on migration and education (Larnaca 2012), and the seminar on community schools (Brussels 2013) (Statements on the events can be found here).

More information about the event is available here.

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From 28.11.2013 to 29.11.2013
The 3rd Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius

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