THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCIENTISTS
5th-grade pupils from Netley primary were amongst the first to use the Europe’s largest biomedical research facility’s recently opened Weston Discovery Lab, where they created bubble eruptions, launched spinning discs into the air and identified mystery powders. This visit was part of The Crick’s education programme that aims to reach as many children in local state schools as possible, including pupils in special schools and those in disadvantaged areas. Kim Abraham, a teacher who accompanied the class, said: “There wasn’t a single moment when they weren’t fully engaged. They loved it. It’s something they can’t get the experience of at school.”
“We want to provide a great science offer for all children in the schools immediately around us, and then see them repeatedly, year after year, all 11 years of their school careers. It’s for them, in their community,” said Clare Davy, the Crick’s education programme’s manager.
The main building was completed in August and now hosts 1,500 scientists that research ways to prevent, diagnose and treat conditions such as cancer and motor neurone disease.
Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) backed the ‘historic’ move by more than 2-1. Teachers have voted to form a new ‘super union’ to give them more clout in dealing with the government’s education cuts. The newly formed the National Education Union will be formed later in the year to create a stronger voice to speak up for those working in education and challenge government policy. With more than 450,000 members the merger will be the biggest union in Europe for teachers and education support staff.
Dr Mary Bousted, the general secretary of the ATL, said: ”We will be able to do so much more working together. The government will need to listen when we speak on the key issues facing education – funding cuts, excessive workloads, the recruitment and retention crisis, the chaotic exam reform and accountability.”
NUT leader Kevin Courtney said: “For too long, governments have played divide and rule among education unions. The government has not listened to our professional voice for far too long.
“Today marks the beginning of the end of that. The National Education Union will be a game-changer in the education landscape.”
Both leaders will stay on as joint general secretaries until 2023 when a single general secretary will be elected for the new union.
LET ERASMUS STORIES INSPIRE YOU
Thanks to the Treaty of Rome signed in 1957 and the launch of Erasmus programme in 1987 the people of Europe can freely move between countries and have experiences of a lifetime. Taking advantage of Erasmus+ and its predecessor exchange programmes 9 million people have already enriched their lives with opportunities, international experience and fulfilling their dreams.
Celebrating the 30th Erasmus anniversary some people shared their success stories of how they improved their chances of finding a job, developed fresh perspectives on sustainable development, learnt a new language, gained a clearer idea of European citizenship, or found a new passion for volunteering.
Find out more about the exciting careers and unique stories of a Finnish journalist, a Slovakian actress, a Swedish award-winning writer, an Estonian singer, an Icelandic 2012 presidential candidate, a Lithuanian entrepreneur and many others!
MAKE WAY FOR DIGITAL JOBS
According to the EU’s data, only 3.6% of the European workforce specialises in technology, and only 56% of Europeans have basic digital skills. That is not nearly enough as by 2020 there will be between 500,000 and 700,000 jobs available in the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) sector. At the current day, 7 of the Member States lack 150,000 professionals in the sector. App developers, social media analysts, web designers, big data analysts, cybersecurity experts – these are the areas and skills that the EU countries lack and that risks hindering the growth of Industry 4.0.
With the impact of the digitalization and Industry 4.0, the European Commission is urging the governments, who are directly responsible for education, to change their approach and involve recent graduates in a pilot project that EU is studying at the moment. That being internships in the digital sector or those in traditional sectors who have an IT department. How this project differs is that it would be open to all disciplines, not just computer science and engineering.
Commissioners Andrus Ansip and Günther Oettinger, as well as Italian ministers Carlo Calenda, Giuliano Poletti and Valeria Fedeli, met in Rome on The 23rd of March with the focus of “Digital Day”. A theory by Mr Ansip’s was delivered ahead of Digital Day at a meeting with managers from the manufacturing sector, where he stated that automation, which is already invading factories, represents a threat to certain jobs and employment overall, but it can tip the balance to the positive side in the long term if companies hire specialized experts who are capable of working with the machines and robots that will replace the less-qualified positions. With the topic still being controversial, 1.3 million ICT sector jobs have been created in Europe since 2015, most of them well-paying.
EPALE – A SHARING COMMUNITY
EPALE is a multilingual open membership community for teachers, trainers, researchers, academics, policy makers and anyone else with a professional role in adult learning across Europe.
The Electronic Platform for Adult Learning (EPALE) an online community where users can engage with their peers, share experiences and find useful content to help them in their professional roles. It is set up around the sharing of content related to adult learning, including news, blog posts, resources, and events and courses. The platform, which is funded by the European Commission, has more than 20,000 registered users and an average of 33,000 visitors a month and takes the role as a useful resource for professionals that want to take their experience to a new level by expanding their horizons and gaining new knowledge and skills.
EPALE is available in all EU countries and languages shifting their focus and topic each month to a new one. “Benefits of adult learning” was the theme of February and March focus is digital and e-learning.
If you want to contribute to EPALE or would like more information about it, click here.
Prepared by Simona Varankaite