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Resolution 2104 (2016)

Towards a framework of competences for democratic citizenship

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Assembly debate on 19 April 2016 (13th Sitting) (see Doc. 13992, report of the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, rapporteur: Mr Jacques Legendre). Text adopted by the Assembly on 19 April 2016 (13th Sitting).See also Recommendation 2088 (2016).

1. The Parliamentary Assembly stresses the importance of giving young people all the tools they need to acquire the skills necessary to build a pluralistic society based on solidarity, democratic values and human rights, and to live in it together as active and responsible citizens.
2. The Assembly believes it is not possible to acquire these skills without quality education in democratic citizenship, human rights and intercultural dialogue, of which school must be one of the pillars. However, many European countries lack both benchmarks and processes enabling the proper assessment of learning and teaching outcomes and teaching approaches and methods.
3. The Assembly therefore welcomes and supports the initiative of the ministers of education of the Council of Europe member States concerning the development of a European framework of competences for a culture of democracy and intercultural dialogue and would like policy makers to be made more aware of this initiative and mobilised to take the measures required to ensure the effective implementation of this framework of competences in all European States.
4. In this respect, the Assembly recommends that the member States:
4.1. review their education policies and reformulate the objectives of these policies in order to take account of the new framework of competences for a culture of democracy and intercultural dialogue that the Council of Europe is currently drawing up and ensure its proper implementation as soon as it is adopted;
4.2. implement the framework of competences at all levels of the education system with due regard to various situations (classroom, school, local community or the community to which one belongs) and ensuring that theoretical learning is not separated from its practical application;
4.3. adapt school curricula and allocate the necessary resources to education for democratic citizenship, human rights, gender equality and intercultural dialogue (whether as part of a specific or cross-disciplinary course);
4.4. adapt the initial and in-service training of school leaders, teachers and educators, especially as far as the assessment of pupils’ skills is concerned; if necessary, make it compulsory to participate in training modules (possibly with qualifying examinations) that enable knowledge in the areas covered by the framework of competences to be improved;
4.5. ensure recognition of the outcomes of learning for democratic citizenship, respect for human rights and intercultural dialogue, for pupils and teachers, school leaders and other individuals concerned, and to this end:
4.5.1. establish assessment and validation procedures in order to measure progress made with regard to theoretical learning and the acquisition of appropriate behaviour;
4.5.2. use tools, such as the Skills Portfolio, that can give greater visibility to these competences;
4.5.3. take these competences into account in the selection processes for access to the civil service.
5. The Assembly invites the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities to take account of the framework of competences in the implementation of the Revised European Charter on the Participation of Young People in Local and Regional Life, and to promote in this context the exchange of practical experience between local and regional authorities.
6. The Assembly recognises the important role of civil society partners and reiterates that civil society organisations should be involved at the national and international levels in the implementation of the framework of competences. It invites the Conference of International Non-governmental Organisations of the Council of Europe and the Advisory Council on Youth to contribute to the implementation of the framework of competences, as well as to the exchange of experience, the promotion of good practices and mutual enrichment in this area.
7. The Assembly welcomes the efforts to co-ordinate the Council of Europe’s action with those of other international organisations, especially the institutions of the European Union, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. It calls on these organisations to continue and strengthen their co-operation in all areas with an impact on the implementation of the framework of competences, with the aim of making teaching a culture of democracy and intercultural dialogue more effective and more consistent in the education systems of their respective member States.