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Fundación Secretariado Gitano contributes to European Commission consultation on digital training and education [editar]

Digital Education Action Plan

FSG - Internacional

Fundación Secretariado Gitano contributes to European Commission consultation on digital training and education

With the aim of incorporating the needs and reality of Roma people into European policies, the Fundación Secretariado Gitano contributes with proposals to the update of the Digital Education Action Plan consultation, launched by the European Commission. This consultation seeks to update the contents of the Plan due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Digital Education Action Plan of the European Comission is an initiative that seeks to support the use of technology in education and the development of digital competences. This Plan presents measures to help Member States and education and training institutions to reap the opportunities and meet the challenges presented by the digital age. It has 11 actions across three priorities: Making better use of digital technology for teaching and learning, Developing digital competences and skills, and Improving education through better data analysis and foresight.

An open public consultation on the new Action Plan was released between June and September 2020. The consultation sought to gather the views of citizens, institutions and organisations on their experiences and expectations during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as their visions for the future of digital education. The Fundación Secretariado Gitano has contributed to this consultation to assure that the needs and priorities of Roma people are taken into consideration in the plan’s update.

To make this contribution, we have started from the study on the impact of the Covid-19 on the people participating in our programmes, carried out in April, as well as from the knowledge and experience accumulated in the intense intervention of our teams during this period. The analysis and the proposals sent are articulated around three main areas:

Low level of digital skills for personal, educational and professional life. The digitalisation of our society is now an unavoidable fact and its presence in educational and working environments has become even more evident with the Covid-19 crisis. In this line, we have detected that many Roma people do not have the level of digital skills needed to face this reality. There is an urgent need to invest in improving the digital skills of Roma people, to facilitate their inclusion in the labour market and in educational and training pathways.

Limited access to the needed technological tools and connectivity. The mobile phone is the most common device in the lives of Roma people. Besides, Roma families usually have a very limited connection to the internet. In order to be efficient in the work and the education, the mobile phone is clearly an insufficient tool. We have therefore proposed that the acquisition of devices should be facilitated for Roma families, as well as the right connectivity to the internet (to be able to access online contents).

Low adaptation of digital resources to the reality of vulnerable people: many Roma people need accompaniment and adjustments in their access and use of educational and labour purposes. Online platforms and learning spaces need to reinforce the mechanisms to facilitate this help. Therefore, we propose the mix of online and offline channels and resources to facilitate the transmission of contents, as well as the design of intuitive and accessible online learning platforms.

The adoption of measures resulting from this consultation is planned for this year. We will closely follow the evolution of the plan update, the incorporation of the new measures, and their impact on the lives of Roma people.