RESOLUTION 807 (1983)[1]

on European co-operation in the field of education

The Assembly,

1. Having considered the report of its Committee on Culture and Education on European co-operation in the field of education (Doc. 5138) ;

2. Regarding education as an integral part of European cultural co-operation and recalling its recent Recommendation 940 (1982) on that subject ;

3. Recalling also its belief in education as a continuing, lifelong process directly related to the cultural development of the individual ;

4. Recognising the fundamental importance of education for the transmission of the values of democratic Western society and for the preparation of future citizens ;

5. Aware of the budgetary constraints under which most member states are led to seek cuts in government spending, but strongly insisting that education is not an area where cuts can easily be made ;

6. Believing that the long-term goals of education should be reasserted, but that certain changes are necessary in the structures of education in order that it can respond more efficiently, more flexibly and more effectively to certain challenges facing modern Western society ;

7. Wishing to see education play a more decisive role in developing in young people :

i. a sense of civic responsibility ;

ii. tolerance, such as intercultural understanding and rejection of political and other forms of violence ;

iii. appreciation of manual as well as intellectual skills ;

iv. recognition of equality between the sexes ;

v. scientific and technical literacy, as well as a critical understanding of the media ;

vi. cultural creativity ;

8. Believing that these objectives should be established from the outset of compulsory schooling and asking the Council for Cultural Co-operation to take this into account in the development of the project on primary education and in the follow-up to its work on preparation for life, as recently endorsed by the Committee of Ministers in adopting its Recommendation No. R (83) 13 ;

9. Calling for closer co-ordination of education and employment policies in order to reduce youth unemployment, in particular through ensuring a closer relation between education and the world of work and through greater recourse to adult education for continuing the educative process after working life has started, and particularly interested in the work in this area conducted by OECD and the European Communities ;

10. Anxious to maintain the standard of teaching and the quality and motivation of teachers, by extensive in-service training and by better equipping schools with new technology, and urging the Council for Cultural Co-operation of the Council of Europe to undertake work in this field ;

11. Wishing also to see a closer partnership develop between the school, the home and the community, in order to profit from available resources and to ensure that formal education remains relevant and in touch with everyday reality ;

12. Concerned by the current difficulties of institutions of higher education, and therefore welcoming the Conference on Higher Education and Research Policies in Europe to be held in Strasbourg in November 1983 by the Standing Conference on University Problems ;

13. While being aware that education is mainly the responsibility of national or local authorities, welcomes the work by international bodies in the education field, and stresses the need for continued vigilance in order to co-ordinate these activities and avoid overlap ;

14. Believes that it is important to reassert the role of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education as an overview body on European co-operation in the field of education ;

15. Supports the texts adopted by the conference at its 13th Session in Dublin in May 1983 ;

16. Invites the Standing Conference to establish working relations with other ministerial bodies in Europe, both with ministers in closely related fields such as culture or employment and with ministerial meetings in the respective organisations ;

17. Recalls also its earlier concern, as expressed in Recommendations 746, 850 and 940, for a closer working relationship between ministers of education and the Council of Europe, through the Standing Conference and through the Committee of Ministers sitting occasionally at the level of ministers of education ;

18. Calls for further clearly written information on the ongoing activities of bodies contributing to European education co-operation, and for a greater use to be made of the results of Council of Europe work, as of other organisations, through its dissemination and further debate at national and regional levels ;

19. Invites the competent authorities at national, regional and local levels in member states to take this resolution into account in developing educational policies.

[1]. Assembly debate on 3 October 1983 (19th Sitting) (see Doc. 5138, report of the Committee on Culture and Education).

Text adopted by the Assembly on 3 October 1983 (19th Sitting).