TUAC EVALUATION

 

 

 

 

Texte en franšais

TUAC STATEMENT TO 2001 OECD MEETING 
OF MINISTERS OF EDUCATION 

Investing in "competencies" for All 

( Paris, 2-4 April 2001 )

I. Key messages 

II. Introduction: The Knowledge Society - its challenges for education policy 

III. Trade unions are spreading the message of learning 

IV. Goals of education - building social values and investing in learning and the acquisition of skills 

V. Promoting the development of human resources and social capital - foundations of social cohesion and sustainable development 

VI. Lifelong learning - must remain high on the agenda of education policy 

VII. Bridging the digital divide - immediate action is required 

VIII. A quality driven future for education - or one driven by commercialisation? 

IX. Teaching, learning and governance - education policy must break new ground 

 

I. Key messages 

1. Education policy needs a new vision. In order to address changing societal needs, education and training must become more: 

- accessible to all; 
- learner-centered and collaborative ; 
- responsive to diversity in our societies and economies. 


2. Trade unions are prepared to contribute to transforming education and training systems to address more effectively the challenges brought about by globalisation, related economic and social changes, innovation and technological change. Our vision is for every workplace to be a learning centre, every worker a learner and every union representative a learning representative. 

3. In order to achieve a truly learning society, we call upon Education Ministers to design policies in order to 

- increase the level of investment in human resources, because failure to invest in education and training simply costs more in the long run; 

- consider early childhood education as an important element in lifelong learning - all children should have access to quality pre-school education; 

- strengthen equal opportunities by closing gender gaps in education, training and employment; 

- ensure that financial resources for lifelong learning are used more effectively; however, cost-effectiveness cannot be achieved by increasing teachers' workload, pushing up the teacher/pupil ratios, neglecting professional development of teachers or by increasing job insecurity; 

- ensure that financing lifelong learning remains the major responsibility of governments and employers. We are strongly opposed to policies aimed at shifting the prime responsibility of financing lifelong learning away from governments and employers to the individual; 

- maintain and strengthen the role of public educational institutions at all levels and encourage all educational institutions to promote democracy, good governance, participatory development and human rights; 

- keep lifelong learning high on the agenda and ensure that education and training go beyond a purely economic rationale; 

- overcome the existing under-utilisation of available skills; 

- contribute to the realisation of a socially inclusive, high-skill and high-value-adding economy by co-operating with other government actors as well as with employers and unions in order to foster the implementation of high performance work systems; 

- contribute to the expansion of workplace training of all workers, in particular of women and adult workers; 

- foster agreements between employers and trade unions that make participation in lifelong learning feasible in practice. Particular attention should be given to paid leave schemes, including the active participation of the public employment service, as well as to jointly agreed company schemes that give employees both the required flexibility and the amount of time required to acquire new knowledge and skills; 

- support policies aimed at bridging the digital divide by addressing IT-illiteracy, ensuring affordable access and promoting the provision of local or indigenous content where appropriate; moreover, governments should involve not only businesses and private sector organisations in policy initiatives, but also representatives of civil society, in particular trade unions; 

- strengthen the links between education and training systems, working life and society at local, national and international levels; issues related to working life, the learning of foreign languages as well as increased cross-border co-operation should be integrated into learning to enhance the attractiveness of education and training systems; however, efforts to open up education and training systems to the wider world must not replace public policy goals by market objectives; 

- ensure that public policy goals for education are not undermined by commercialisation or international trade in educational services; 

- ensure that schools are equipped and teachers are trained to prepare learners for the knowledge-based economy; it must be stressed that, while providing ICT equipment is expensive, maintaining and supporting it is just as expensive; 

- empower teachers so that they are able to participate actively in qualitative educational reform; 

- involve teachers and their unions in educational reform as well as the governance of educational institutions in order to ensure more effective and more ambitious education and training.


II. Introduction: The Knowledge society - its challenges for education policy 

4. A knowledge-based economy has begun to emerge. The generation and exploitation of knowledge now play important roles in the creation of wealth. Thus, policy-makers must address the impact and exploitation of knowledge across the entire spectrum of economic and social activity. The distinct characteristic of knowledge, that distinguishes it from other sources of wealth, is that it is not only a commodity but also a public good. This central fact has crucial implications for the way the knowledge economy is organized. 

5. Information Communication Technology (ICT) is of particular importance in the knowledge-based economy. ICT includes the internet and the media, as well as all forms of data-processing, from manufacturing to marketing and services. This technology has a profound impact on intellectual property, including patents and copyright, trademarks, logos and advertising. 

6. It is important to note that knowledge forms an additional basis for wealth. The old foundations of wealth, controlling natural resources, land and capital, are now complemented by the ownership of knowledge. The transition towards a knowledge-based economy brings about serious challenges. It also raises a number of questions: How should societies be (re-)organised in order to generate jobs, to avoid (further) unemployment and to maintain and increase employment? How can precarious employment be prevented? How must work be reorganised in order to improve skills as well as working conditions? How can equitable access to education, training and to modern technology be achieved? And more specifically: How can human resources and social capital be maintained and developed further? What skills are needed to succeed in a fast changing environment, affected by shortening innovation cycles and global businesses activities? Who gains and who is excluded from the knowledge-based economy and hence from society? How to address the necessity for well-qualified, well-trained teachers in order to cope with the educational challenges brought about by the transition towards the knowledge-based economy? What needs to be done in order to train teachers to lead learners in gaining access to ICT and active participation in the knowledge-based economy? These questions should be at the core of the OECD Education Ministerial Meeting. 

III. Trade unions are spreading the message of learning 

7. At the beginning of a new millennium, trade unions and the working families we represent face great challenges. There is a yawning income gap between the affluent and those groups still mired in poverty. But there is also a wide learning gap between the "skills rich" and the "skills poor" as well as a "digital divide" between those with access to computers and the Internet and those without that access. Moreover, those who have benefited most from the education system get far more training in work than those who left school with few or no qualifications. 

8.  Creating and improving opportunities for education and training has always been a central objective of trade unions. This has also included a strong engagement for the implementation of the right to education and training. However, in recent years trade unions, realising the problems that a lack of skills and competencies mean for their members, now seek to foster wider access to learning. They have continually argued the case that there is a need for individual entitlements to access foundation levels of learning and skills, and for employers to be given obligations and incentives to provide such opportunities. Hence, they now put learning and skills at the top of their agendas. They negotiate training agreements with employers, raise their members' awareness of learning, mentor their learner members and help to broker the provision of education and training with colleges and universities. Moreover, union representatives are being trained and accredited as "learner representatives". Much innovative work is being done but much more is needed if lifelong learning is to be made a reality. Our vision is for every workplace to be a learning centre, every worker a learner and every union representative a learning representative. 

9. Unions are prepared to contribute to transforming education and training systems to address more effectively the challenges brought about by globalisation, related economic and social changes, innovation and technological progress. 

IV. Goals of education - building social values and investing in learning and the acquisition of skills 

10. Educational institutions at all levels have a role in promoting democracy, good governance, participatory development and human rights. Their role is to respond to all educational needs, including special learning needs, those whose first language is not the home language and those with disabilities. The entitlement to lifelong learning must be extended throughout society. Full access to education and training for all people will reinforce the foundations and processes of democracy. When democracy underpinned in this way, citizens are more likely to promote and defend it. Education and training must include the use of new technology in teaching and learning - one of the characteristic features of the transition to a knowledge-based economy. However, with regard to the new challenges facing education, old questions re-emerge: What is the purpose of education? What are the social and political commitments to education? How to define quality education? What should be taught and learnt and at what stage and in which context should that learning take place? Moreover, it must be emphasized that education has intrinsic value. The promotion of the pleasure of learning for its own sake will enhance education and training for vocational purposes and employment. It also contributes to social cohesion and a sense of involvement in society. 

11. A successful transition to a knowledge-based economy can only be achieved if there is a strong and stable political commitment to education. In this respect a broad consensus exists: it is generally agreed that education and training hold the key to the future, being among the most significant investments a society can make in its own development. However, in many countries public investment in education and training has not kept pace with the development of national wealth. Also the private sector has not been able to scale up its own levels of investment into human resources substantially.  (1)

12. OECD countries spend, on average, 6.1 per cent of GDP on education, with the major share - 4.8 per cent - going to educational institutions, mostly in the public sector. Including support for educational institutions, and allowing for country differences, approximately 14 per cent of all OECD public spending is devoted to education. Efforts to reduce the size and scope of the public resources devoted to education have pushed up teacher/pupil ratios and worsened conditions of learning and teaching. Recruitment and retention of teachers and trainers has now become a real problem. 

13. Current public expenditure on education is lower than OECD member countries should risk. Moreover, current trends in the financing of education and training are in striking contrast to the rhetoric about their increasing importance. Regardless of this paradox, "upskilling" through education and training is considered to be a solution to a wide range of problems, from under-productivity and un-competitiveness to unemployment and social exclusion. Along with the general consensus on the increasing importance of education and training there is a broadening of the meaning of skill - reflected in the use of terms such as "key skills" or "competencies". Generic skills - those needed by individuals in order to be effective members of an adaptable and competitive workforce - include interpersonal capabilities. Emphasis is placed on a broader set of skills- the ability to collect, analyse and organise information, to communicate, to plan and organise activities, to co-operate with others and to work in teams, to use ideas, techniques and technology. These skills also include inter-cultural understanding, the ability to solve problems and cope with work-related hazards for health and the environment, to make full use of democratic and legal entitlements at work and last but not least the ability as well as the attitude to seek further learning and to apply the acquired skills. 

Fostering skills for the knowledge society 

14. Investing in skills for all is just one aspect of a broader set of measures required to promote lifelong learning. This investment should foster the acquisition of the basic skills necessary for active participation in the knowledge-based economy. This applies in particular to adults. A major effort is required to overcome existing disadvantages, due in particular to a lack of access to training, faced by many employees and unemployed. 

15. To facilitate lifelong learning and in particular the acquisition of skills necessary for the knowledge-based economy, the linkage between working life and the educational system should be strengthened. In particular the possibilities of a change from one system to the other, from work to training and from learning to work, must be improved. In order to foster such exchanges, systems of evaluation and recognition of acquired skills, accepted by all the major stakeholders, should be put in place. 

16. As the distinction between formal and informal learning becomes more blurred, the need to ensure both quality control and certification of skills, increases. The same point applies to reliable information and advice about training and learning opportunities. Because of an increasing dynamic of movements from education and training into the labour market and vice versa, guidance and counseling must be strengthened and improved. 

V. Promoting the development of human resources and social capital - foundations of social cohesion and sustainable development 

17. Neither human resources nor social capital develop automatically. Education and vocational training are crucial factors in the formation of both. Educational institutions play an important role in the social cohesion of our societies. They encourage the development of rules of social behavior and cultural values, including hopefully the promotion of co-operation and solidarity. 

18. However, social capital has also become a crucial factor for economic development. It provides competitive advantage. Thus it is in the interests of enterprises to contribute to the formation of social capital. Increasingly enterprises have a vested interest in promoting co-operation with their employees and a climate of mutual trust. Business leaders with vision recognize that it pays to respect human and labour rights and to comply with social as well as ecological minimum standards. It makes sense for them to establish partnerships with trade unions, which play a key role in the constitution of social capital as they fulfill their mission of representation and advocacy on behalf of employees. And trade unions, like non-profit organisations, also contribute to maintaining and building social capital by providing access to educating and training for their members. 

19. The necessity for education, training and lifelong learning goes beyond a purely economic rationale; it must accord with social as well as cultural aims and goals. However, current debates on the challenges of education and training policies are characterised by a rather doubtful "consensus" among policy makers that has come to surround education, training and employment policy. This "consensus" would limit the education policy of governments to an economic rationale, concentrating mainly on supply-side interventions intended to "up-skill" the workforce. 

20. At a first glance it seems that jobs for unskilled manual workers have declined due to the shift of economic activity away from basic industries to more sophisticated products and services. However, the "global market forces" are not inevitably moving national economies on to a high-skills trajectory. First and particularly striking is the fact that, despite a substantial rise in the skills of the workforce in recent years, the percentage of firms running sophisticated high-performance-work-systems has remained low. (2)  Second, a large number of employees find themselves "over-educated" for the jobs they do, so it cannot be assumed that the supply of high skills creates its own demand. Third, it is important to emphasize that consideration of the demand side within the debate on education policy must go beyond the individual demand for learning. Employer demand for skills, and the insufficient use of existing skills must be taken into account in designing education and training policies. Those policies must also be linked with policies that promote new technologies and innovation. There is no point in innovating without training. 

21. Policies designed to produce a highly skilled and well-educated workforce are, of course, a vital component of any strategy to modernise the economy, and to promote productivity and competitiveness as well as the well-being of citizens. By themselves, however, they are not enough to realise the vision of a socially inclusive, high-skill, high-value-added economy. That would require a much broader and more radical set of policy interventions that address not only "the supply side", namely the skills people hold, but crucially the opportunities for satisfying and rewarding work that employers make available to them ("the demand side"). 

22. Furthermore, human beings and social relations cannot only be seen in terms of economic usefulness. Employees want to be recognized as human beings with rights and freedoms, and with aspirations and concerns, not just as elements of production. Moreover, although increasingly important for economic, social and cultural objectives of OECD countries, education and training cannot solve problems related to unemployment and to the mismatch of skills. There is therefore no substitute for employment and labour market policies designed to cope with all aspects of promoting employment within the emerging knowledge economy. 

VI. Lifelong learning - must remain high on the agenda of education policy 

23. It is five years since OECD Education Ministers adopted “lifelong learning for all” as the guiding framework for their policies. A review of developments in Member countries since then shows that they have embraced the approach at the political level, but limited progress has been made at the practical level. Implementation of the goal still leaves a lot to be desired. Evidence shows that lifelong learning is far from being a reality for many citizens and little progress has been achieved in promoting a comprehensive strategy. Even though overall educational levels have improved steadily over the past few decades, the relative position of disadvantaged groups has not improved. 

24. Although it is now widely recognized that lifelong learning has a central role to play in the knowledge economy, there has been slow progress so far in making it really happen, or, to quote the theme of the 1996 OECD Ministerial: "making life-long education a reality for all". This observation applies in particular to the workplace education of adult workers. To achieve further progress, existing strategies have to be reconsidered, taking into account lessons to be learned from current and recent experience: 

- Continuing training tends to reinforce existing skill differences resulting from unequal access to and participation in education in all countries. 

- In most countries, training participation is significantly higher for employees than for the unemployed. In almost all countries less-educated workers are significantly less likely to be trained. 

- Firms which are unionised train more than non-unionised firms. 

- Workers on temporary contracts and in part-time jobs - most of whom are women - are significantly less likely to receive training. 

- In countries with higher overall average levels of educational attainment as well as in countries devoting a larger share to R&D, workers tend to receive more training. Quite often a high overall training rate is accompanied by a more equal distribution of training. 

- In general, the findings suggest that schooling and training are complementary, therefore policies to strengthen schooling can also encourage further training. 

- Larger firms are significantly more likely to invest in human resources by training employees. 

- The introduction of both new work systems and new forms of work seems to be strongly related to a higher training participation. 


25. Employment insecurity and deregulated labour markets are reducing opportunities for training, not increasing them. Employers are less prepared to train part-time and temporary staff, believing that they will not see a return on investment from training such workers. Women and ethnic minorities are particularly affected, as their training is more likely to be informal, on-the-job and related to low level qualifications. Insecure labour markets are, in this respect, undermining the improvements in skills and training which employers need to compete effectively in the globalised market place. On the contrary, evidence suggests that greater job stability could contribute to increased returns on investments in human resources made by employers; international comparisons have often shown that lower labour turnover is associated with higher training. (3)

26. It is against this background that employers and unions should negotiate agreements that make participation in lifelong learning feasible in practice. Paid leave schemes, with the active participation of the public employment service, as well as jointly agreed company schemes that give employees both the required flexibility and the amount of time required to pursue the acquisition of new knowledge and skills, are examples of promoting lifelong learning. However, in order to encourage lifelong learning specific incentives are needed. Earnings should reward successful participation in training courses. 

27. With regard to lifelong learning, particular attention must be given to the need to strengthen equal opportunities and to close gender gaps in education, training and employment. Education and training systems as well as the process of learning must be designed and organised in order to improve women's job access and career progress. It is important to change actual organisations rather than simply enable women to adapt to existing structures. Appropriate provision for training can help women to overcome the gender gap. 

28. Lifelong learning puts initial or "foundation" education in a new context. When initial education is of high quality, it stimulates a desire to learn and to continue doing so. Inadequacy of initial learning seriously undermines the potential of lifelong learning. Early childhood education must be considered part of the overall education system and form the first stage of the lifelong learning process. All children must be given the right to a place in early childhood education, as this is what encourages equal opportunities irrespective of geographical situation and social and financial background. Early childhood education provision for all has intrinsic value and forms the foundation for subsequent schooling and working life. 

Financing lifelong learning for all

29. Investment in lifelong learning for all is the key to successful transition to the knowledge-based economy. Current levels of investment in human resources are too low. Certainly, financial resources for lifelong learning have to be used more effectively. However, cost-effectiveness cannot be achieved by increasing the workload of teachers, pushing up the teacher/pupil ratios, neglecting professional development of teachers or by increasing job insecurity. 

30. Financing lifelong learning must remain a major responsibility of governments and employers. Providing basic education for all learners - irrespective of their age - is the responsibility of governments. Financing of vocational education and training has been and still is a major task of employers and this responsibility must be maintained. Employees and working families often contribute to the cost of their personal development and trade unions encourage efforts to do so. The frameworks and precise details of funding responsibilities will depend on national or even local circumstances and will vary between countries. They must therefore be negotiated between the parties. Appropriate collective bargaining frameworks negotiated by employers and trade unions should foster lifelong learning, in particular by improving access to training, by ensuring equal opportunities, by making entitlements transferable and by improving the affordability of lifelong learning. 

31. However, we are strongly opposed to policies aimed at shifting the prime responsibility of financing lifelong learning away from governments and employers to the individual. Such policies, making workers and their families pay increasingly the direct and indirect costs of learning, bear the risk of amplifying inequalities and social exclusion. Working families already contribute substantially to the financing of education and training - course fees, the expenses of educational materials, and the cost of living of pupils and students. These costs can impose major burdens on families, and any further increase should be avoided. 
 

VII. Bridging the digital divide - immediate action is required 

32. The issue of overcoming the digital divide, which exists both between and within countries, must be given particular attention. Inequities in access to and use of ICT are reinforcing existing inequities. Available data on home access to the Internet for OECD countries show that the poorest households, in particular those with low educational background and some ethnic groups are being left behind in the digital revolution. 

33. The digital divide cannot be bridged simply by enhancing access for all to information technology and the Internet building on market driven infrastructure development. Particular attention has been given to wiring the Third World However, the digital divide is not just technical. It is not just about access to computers. It is caused by broader societal and economic deprivation. In this respect, computers and the internet have not created a new social problem, but have exacerbated existing ones. 

34. Deregulated and liberalised markets for telecommunication services, ongoing price-decreases of IT-devices and private sector initiatives alone are not a panacea for narrowing the divide. Recent developments within the advanced industrialised countries have clearly proven that efforts to exploit the digital divide solely for corporate benefit are failing. Initiatives from hi-tech companies to narrow the digital divide by providing free computers and Internet access for schools are welcome. However they will not prevent many citizens from remaining disconnected and falling through the net. 

35. Strategies to create digital opportunities, focusing simply on governance aspects of e-commerce and on electronic government, as currently discussed by the Digital Opportunity Task Force, the so-called "dot-force", are anything but convincing. Bridging the digital divide requires more than creating a climate of trust that makes it possible for companies and consumers to conduct business online. A more comprehensive and effective approach is needed, including a broad set of policies and actions embedded in an overall framework of promoting sustainable development. 

36. In order to bridge the digital divide, governments must give attention to education and training as well as to the provision of local or indigenous content. Moreover, governments should involve not only businesses and private sector organisations into policy initiatives aimed to bridge the divide, but also representatives of civil society, in particular trade unions. 
 

VIII. A quality driven future of education - or one driven by international commercialisation?

37. Public policy goals for education must not be undermined by pressures of international competition and commercialisation. Currently international trade in education services has become an important area of activity, undergoing rapid expansion. In the sector where this form of trade is concentrated, namely higher education, it amounted to US-$ 27 billion already in 1995. (4)

38. This raises key issues for public education At a time when trade unions are engaged in order to ensure a "human face" of globalisation, based on a link between trade and labour standards, when unions are engaged in a campaign to protect and promote quality public education systems for all, the potentially negative implications of the resumption of the GATS negotiations are hard to ignore. In fact, there is a major risk that the WTO's initiatives will clash head-on with the principles upheld by all those who value a quality public education system. This applies in particular to the risk of an increased subordination of education systems to the requirements of private sector profit. 

39. We are concerned that a hasty opening of the markets for education services could have harmful consequences: increased dependence on foreign educational resources, a decline of local culture and exclusion in many countries caused by the use of a foreign language for teaching only, a tendency to the standardisation of education and, lastly, a certain curtailment of sovereignty. Moreover, an opening-up of the education sector would give a free hand to transnational corporations specialising in education; they could establish subsidiaries wherever they pleased by using, for example, computerised, ready-made and standardised teaching modules. 

40. As far as the education sector is concerned, it is the very existence of education as a public service that might be at stake sooner or later. Clearly, these issues have implications for the nature of education in general and for the working conditions of teachers and education workers in particular, and therefore concern the latter directly. Consequently, these issues must be tackled, as a matter of priority, by the trade unions which organise the workforce in in the education sector as well as by international trade union organisations. Education policy and education reform must guarantee citizens their right not simply to education, but also their right to quality education, and must not be undermined by international trade policy. Domestic policies aiming to protect the cultural diversity of communities, minorities and countries must not be considered as "obstacles" to international trade. 

41. Moreover, there is a need to develop and implement systems of quality assurance aiming at the provision of high quality standards regarding both the supply and the implementation of learning and training courses. Systems of quality assurance must be based on frameworks which reflect the value of high quality public education and which involve those who work in education in designing those frameworks. 
 

IX. Teaching, learning and governance - education policy must break new ground 

42. There is no doubt that the role of teachers and educators is changing, and will continue to change even more as a consequence of the information revolution. The further progress of ICT products and services will be an important factor in these changes. It is important, therefore, to take steps that will support the development of high quality hard and software adequate to the needs of education. In order to do that it is necessary to make it possible for teachers to participate directly in the process. With regard to ongoing work in this area, conducted on behalf of the OECD Secretariat, we urge Ministers to ensure appropriate trade union participation together with the involvement of the private sector. However, ICT cannot substitute for school education and it is a fallacy to believe that ICT will of itself reduce education and training costs and budgets. Schools serve functions of social and cultural development which cannot be attained simply either by e-learning or programmed learning. The acquisition of important elements of key competencies, like general skills of communication, social integration or learning to use ICT itself, requires the presence of pupils and students and direct contact with educators. 

43. Thus, teachers cannot be replaced by computers. Quality education cannot be purchased "on the cheap". Governments need to invest the necessary resources in order to ensure that schools are equipped and teachers are trained to prepare learners for the knowledge-based economy. It must be stressed that, while providing the ICT equipment is expensive, maintaining and supporting it is just as expensive. Failure to invest in education simply costs more in the long run. 

44. Investing in improving the quality of teachers and teaching must become a central feature of current and future education reform at all levels of the education and training system. Numerous calls for the improvement of teacher quality exist, and many states and local communities are targeting resources to ensure that all children have access to quality teachers. Many of the policy initiatives being considered require an increased level of investment in programs, training, and opportunities that support the ability of teachers to improve the level of student learning. Consequently, expectations are also increasing that the new investments will result in positive and enhanced outcomes for students. The demands on teachers and schools are greater than ever. Yet, the current workday of most teachers does not allow them the time required to engage in any sustained learning about new and innovative approaches to their professional tasks. Thus, it is of fundamental importance that teachers be provided with sufficient time within the working day to prepare themselves for the challenges posed by the new tasks. 

45. It is all too easy to direct a diagnosis of school shortcomings at teachers. Ministers must also consider the way policy is developed and implemented, and the way in which resources are administered. Teachers must be empowered so that they are able to participate actively in qualitative educational reform. They must also be given a say in governance decisions effecting the ways in which their institutions are being organized in order to educate and train better, more effectively and more ambitiously. More time must be made available in the school day for teacher learning and organized professional development. Education reform therefore must address job and career dissatisfaction as well as school violence. We need education reform which is not superficial, based for example on the transfer of the latest fads in organization theory and industrial organization to schools and universities. 

46. According to recent surveys the vast majority of educational employees is clearly in favor of participation in governance. This applies in particular to the implementation of new technology, program development and budget allocation. 

Developing innovative teaching and learning methods 

47. Responding to new challenges brought about by globalisation, new technologies and the transition towards a knowledge-based economy requires the development of innovative teaching and learning methods. However, the marketplace alone must not be allowed to redefine the way in which teaching and learning will function in future. A commercial, convenience-store model for education and training may address the needs of some, but it certainly will not serve all the needs of the community. 

48. Campaigning simply for more "choice" in public education as the basis for improving educational achievement is not adequate. 

49. Above all, governments should involve teachers and their unions in educational reform as well as the governance of educational institutions. The practitioners can provide valuable and far-reaching knowledge and experience necessary for reform. Their active participation will ensure the support necessary to make education reform and curriculum change effective to ensure the acquisition of new skills and competencies. 

 


1)  See OECD (ed.): Education at a glance, Paris 2000, pp 45 f and Tab.B1.1a on p. 54 

2)  According to the findings of a recently conducted survey in Europe, the so-called EPOC Survey, only 4 % of European firms are taking group work seriously. For details see Benders et al: Useful but unused: Group work in Europe, Luxembourg 1999 

3)  For details see OECD (ed.) Employment Outlook 1999,Paris, 1999, p. 157 f 

4)  WTO background note S/C/W/49 on Education Services prepared at the request of the Council for Trade in Services, 23. September 1998 
 
 

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