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Date :  2002-12-19
Language :  English
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Combating digital illiteracy, promoting virtual campuses and virtual twinning of schools: the e-learning programme's aims (2004-2006)


Today the Commission adopted a proposal for a programme on the use of new information and communication technologies (NICT) to improve the quality of and access to education and training (e-learning), on the initiative of Viviane Reding, the Member of the European Commission responsible for Education and Culture. This programme, to which the Commission would like to allocate a budget of 36 million euros over three years, comes in response to calls from the European Councils in Lisbon, Stockholm and Barcelona to integrate NICT better into education and training both to foster social cohesion and enable the European Union to become the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010.

"Digital literacy, i.e. the ability to use the Internet, in particular, as a vocational and personal development tool, starting from a very young age and continuing throughout one's life, is rapidly becoming as important as reading, writing and arithmetic. People without access to this new form of literacy run a severe risk of social and vocational exclusion. It is to counter this and to ensure that the Internet is used more in schools, training centres and universities that the Prodi Commission is proposing the e-learning programme to underpin the initiatives taken over the past few years in the Member States", Viviane Reding declared when the proposal was adopted.
Several Community policies already contribute to developing e-learning: regional policy, research, education programmes such as Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci, etc. The programme proposed today by the Commission concentrates on a few key themes. The instruments for which the programme provides funding include a virtual structure (of the "European Internet portal on e-learning" type) for information, cooperation and the exchange of good practice. The programme also makes provision for the European Union to take part in international projects in this field conducted by institutions such as UNESCO or the OECD.

Combating digital illiteracy

The idea here is to support, through research and analysis projects, the development of digital literacy training methods, especially for European citizens who have problems with access to traditional education and training. The research work will, logically enough, be backed up by support for innovatory projects in this area, developing, for example, educational tools and materials for young people to make it easier for them to learn NICT through interactive games or to create virtual services accessible to everybody for learning about citizenship or for dialogue between cultures.
The programme will also encourage the exchange of good practice and cooperation projects (networks, associations, public authorities, public/private partnerships, etc.), which help raise awareness of the potential offered by NICT for acquiring knowledge and gaining access to training courses (public centres for access to NICT) for marginalised population groups.

Promoting virtual campuses

The idea here is to support agreements between universities in order to promote the use of NICT in areas such as mobility of students and teachers, quality of teaching and mutual recognition of curricula, adding a virtual dimension to the "Bologna process".
Under the approach provided for in the programme, virtual mobility should complement actual mobility as organised through the Erasmus and, from 2004 onwards, Erasmus World programmes. A student who is to embark on a "real Erasmus" course might, for example, prepare and/or consolidate the experience by "virtual Erasmus" activities at his or her university of origin.
The e-learning programme will help to create some joint virtual university campuses in at least three Member States which will be formed by developing joint "online" courses accompanied by offers of virtual mobility for students and hence a "real/virtual" mix of curricula. Networking of virtual universities in Europe will be encouraged, as will the development of models for public/private partnerships in higher education.

Twinning of schools through the Internet

The Commission has already published a report on this, detailing its aims (cf. IP/02/809 of 4 June 2002), namely that each of the 150 000 secondary schools in the European Union conclude an agreement on virtual twinning with one or more schools in other Member States or non-member countries by 2006, enabling any young European to participate in a cooperation project with other pupils from other countries through the Internet while they are at school.
Whilst it is primarily up to the Member States to bring about the conditions for twinning by providing, say, suitable training of teachers or a "twinning budget" for every school, the e-learning programme will do its part to achieve this aim, which was endorsed by the Heads of State and Government of the 15 Member States at the Barcelona European Council.
What the programme will do in practice is create a support network for virtual twinning of schools, made up of teachers who have experience in this area and provide advice and pedagogical support. It will also help to set up an Internet platform for information, contact and exchange of good practice which will support or streamline virtual twinning operations. Finally, the programme is to support public relations exercises on twinning of schools involving competitions and prizes, publications, etc.


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 flecheDeveloping countries: the Commission proposes system of trade preferences for 2006-2008
 flecheCommission appeals against WTO sugar ruling
 flecheEnlargement - Turkey's progress towards accession
 flecheLa Commission approuve un rapport sur la gouvernance européenne (2003-2004)
 flecheCommission launches new portal giving all citizens of the enlarged EU access to better information on their rights
 flecheCommission grants Euro 93 million to upgrade European Research and Education Internet (GÉANT)
 flecheStrengthening economic governance and improving the Stability and Growth Pact
 flecheCountdown 2015 - Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights for all : London, 31 August - 2 September 2004
 flecheGeneral information concerning in-service training (stages) with the European Commission
 flechePortail sur les possibilités d'éducation et de formation dans l'ensemble de l'espace européen
 flechePresident-designate Barroso unveils his team
 flecheImmigration & asylum : current state of play
 flecheBarroso, José Manuel
 flecheWith oil prices surging, Loyola de Palacio recalls the necessity of having a concerted European approach to the issue of security of energy supplies
 flecheEuropean Commission approves 5.75 million euros for crises in Asia

 flecheThe role of broadband networks in securing knowledge-based regions
 flecheThe humanitarian crisis in Greater Darfur, Sudan- response of the European Commission - UPDATE EU by far the biggest donor

 flecheEndangered wildlife: Commission wants tighter rules to protect wild animals and plants from unsustainable international trade
 flecheGeneral overview of active WTO dispute settlement cases involving the EC as complainant or defendant
 flecheEU’s Position on the Middle East Conflict
 flecheEU-Latin American and Caribbean Summit
 flecheLamy, Pascal
 flecheCox, Pat
 flecheProdi, Romano
 flecheEuropean Commission Statement on the European Parliament elections
 flecheCommission proposes action to secure the social dimension of globalisation
 flecheEU-Latin American and Caribbean Summit: moving the strategic partnership forward
 flecheEU takes action to foster international sustainable fishing
 flecheWTO-DDA: EU ready to go the extra mile in three key areas of the talks
 flecheStatement of President Prodi on enlargement
 flecheCommission takes further steps to ensure access to medicines for poor countries
 flecheCroatia: Commission recommends opening of accession negotiations
 flecheCommission prepares the necessary steps to welcome a united Cyprus into the European Union on 1 May 2004
 flecheWTO India - GSP: WTO confirms differentiation among developing countries is possible
 flecheCommission adopts new safe harbour for licensing of patents, know-how and software copyright
 flecheAir pollution: Commission takes legal action against 10 Member States
 flecheCommission Spring Economic Forecasts 2004 -2005 for the euro area, the European Union and the Acceding and Candidate countries
 flecheCommission recommends concrete action to promote growth and employment in the enlarged Union
 flecheEurope needs more scientists: EU blueprint for action
 flecheThe European Commission and Philip Morris International confirm discussions
 flecheNew EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control adopted
 flechePresidency Conclusions Brussels European Council 25/26 march 2004
 flecheCommission concludes on Microsoft investigation, imposes conduct remedies and a fine
 flecheKey data on health 2002 Health in the EU under the microscope
 flecheEU acts to increase transparency, efficiency and predictability in the use of trade defence
 flecheEU-Canada: Commission agrees design of future EU-Canada Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement
 flecheBiodiversity: Commission sounds alarm on need to reduce global biodiversity loss
 flecheDeveloping countries: Commission adopts action plan to help developing countries fight agricultural commodity dependency and support the development of the cotton sector in Africa
 flecheEuropean Union signs landmark tourism accord with China today in Beijing
 flecheLa Commission appelle à un renforcement des relations entre l'UE et la Russie
 flecheTrade implications of EU enlargement: Facts and Figures
 flecheThe future of WTO
 flecheWestern Balkans proceed with economic transition
 flecheRomano Prodi President of the European Commission. 2004 Spring Report. Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament.
 flecheCommission reports on progress towards meeting 'Johannesburg' commitments
 flecheEuropean Research Network extended to the Balkans with EU Support
 flecheCommission calls on Member States to keep up the momentum in tackling poverty and social exclusion
 flecheEuropean Commission stands behind the Kyoto Protocol
 flecheUS Steel: EU welcomes termination of US steel safeguard measure
 flecheCommission launches preparations for Balkan participation in Community programmes
 flecheWTO and agriculture: Fischler's five tests to kick-start stalled talks
 flechePresident Prodi statement World Aids Day
 flecheEC action against HIV/AIDS
 fleche2003 review of the EU economy: On the verge of new patterns of economic growth?
 flecheEU- WTO: European Commission proposes to put Doha Round of trade talks back on track
 flecheCommission discusses amendments to EU Constitution
 flecheEU-India Summit: An opportunity to strengthen relations
 flecheCommission adopts five new humanitarian aid decisions worth over EUR 11.5 million
 flecheCommission and United Nations join forces to launch humanitarian appeals for 2004
 flecheCommission proceeds with excessive deficit procedure for Germany
 flecheEU-Mercosur: Ministerial meeting to roadmap free trade negotiations
 flecheState of play on GMO authorisations under EU law
 flecheComenius Week
Highlighting the European dimension at school

 flecheBulgaria, Romania and Turkey make significant progress towards accession criteria
 flecheAcceding countries expected to be ready for accession, urged to tackle remaining issues
 flecheForeign Sales Corporations (FSC): Commission prepares for the imposition of countermeasures on US products
 flecheEU/Russia Summit, Rome, 6 November
 flecheRemoving obstacles to development: Commission proposes EUR 250 million to support African-led peace keeping operations in Africa
 flecheAccelerating the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria: Commission commits further EUR 170 million to the Global Fund
 flecheAfghanistan: Commission Proposes EUR 79.5 million for Fourth Reconstruction programme
 flecheEnvironmental democracy: Commission promotes citizens' involvement in environmental matters
 flecheEU Cohesion Policy: Commissioner Barnier visits Cyprus
 flecheSingle-hull oil tankers banned from European ports from 21 October 2003
 flecheHIV/AIDS: European Research provides clear proof that HIV virus cannot pass through condoms
 flecheA european knowledge society in a global community
 flecheCommission provides support to OLAF and Belgian authorities on investigation into fraud in grain trade prices
 flecheEU complies with WTO ruling on Hormone beef and calls on USA and Canada to lift trade sanctions
 flecheEU-Andean Community: Second Round of Negotiations for new Political Dialogue and Co-operation Agreement
 flecheEurobarometer : latest survey shows growing support for key EU policies in acceding countries
 flecheCommission acts to boost efficiency and flexibility of EU development assistance to benefit the poor
 flecheCommission proceeds with excessive deficit procedure for France assesses
 flecheCinedays 2003: long live European cinema!
 flecheEuropean industry leaders and EU policymakers meet to plan for security research
 flecheEuro area economy demonstrates initial signs of recovery
 flecheEuropean Commission, eight acceding countries and US sign Bilateral Investment Understanding
 flecheTrade in Cotton: constructive proposals to solve African problem
 flecheCommission adopts opinion on the European Constitution
 fleche"State of play of Agriculture Negotiations"
 flecheWorld cotton day: EU sympathises with concerns of African countries
 flecheKey areas for decision in Cancun
 flecheEverything you wanted to know about Cancun
 flecheJoin EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy in an on-line chat September 4 2003
 flecheEuropean Commission regrets the request for a WTO panel on GMOs
 flecheEC and US propose a framework for a joint approach on agricultural questions in WTO
 flecheTrade in agricultural goods and fishery products. EU – US Joint Text on Agriculture

 flecheWTO Farm Talks/Cancun: EU’s Fischler calls for renewed effort to bridge differences
 flecheEU-US Summit - Washington
 flecheThessaloniki European Council - Presidency Conclusions
 flecheAccess to medicines: EU clears plan to ensure delivery of cheap medicines to developing countries
 flecheLe Conseil Éducation adopte les critères de référence européens
 flecheOMC SERVICES - L'UE propose d'améliorer les échanges commerciaux - au bénéfice des pays en développement
 flecheLa Commission propose de créer un Fonds européen pour l'eau doté d'un budget d'1 milliard d'euros
 flecheEU survey results: Europe goes on-line for health information, but still prefers more traditional sources
 flecheLa lutte contre les maladies transmissibles dans les pays en développement: la Commission resserre son programme d'action
 flecheMultilingualism in the European Commission: A long-standing tradition and an asset to the European Union
 flecheSustainable agriculture for developing countries: the options offered by life sciences and biotechnology
 fleche'Your Voice in Europe': new Commission portal aims to give citizens a bigger role in policy making
 flecheAgriculture: plus grande ouverture du marché et réduction du soutien faussant les échanges
 flecheLa Commission place la politique industrielle au premier plan de ses préoccupations
 flechePascal Lamy salue l'achèvement des négociations sur l'adhésion de l'Arménie à l'OMC
 flecheForum européen du tourisme: promotion du développement durable dans le tourisme
 flecheLibéralisation des services : l'Union européenne lance un consultation publique sur les demandes pour l'accès au marché européen
 flecheEU - Russia economic and trade relations: an overview
 flecheL'Union européenne va négocier des accords de partenariat avec des Etats d'Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique
 flecheL’UE poursuit sa bataille pour étendre l’accès aux médicaments pour les pays en développement
 flecheL'Europe lance un partenariat avec les pays en voie de développement pour lutter contre le sida, la malaria et la tuberculose
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