[editar plantilla]

Fundación Secretariado Gitano contributes to EU consultations on Digital Education and Social Economy [editar]

FSG Internacional

Fundación Secretariado Gitano contributes to EU consultations on Digital Education and Social Economy

Fundación Secretariado Gitano contributed to recent European Commission consultations providing comments and recommendations on the enabling factors for success of the digital education and on improving the provision of digital skills, as well as on the developing of the framework conditions for the social economy, with special emphasis on the needs of the most vulnerable groups, including the Roma community.

The European Commission launched two consultations focusing on the Digital Education  and one more on the Social Economy. The first ones aim to set out what needs to be done (in the form of investment and policy reforms) to ensure that everyone has access to digital education and to promote digital skills early on and at all stages of education and training, both highly relevant topics for the Roma community. The initiative on social economy aims to unlock the untapped potential of the social economy and to make sure that it is developed more evenly across EU Member States and regions.

Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) develops relevant programmes dealing with education, such as the Promociona Programme (from 2009), and in the last years has developed a specific area of innovation, to lead and guide the programmes and training provided, introducing the digital world in all our initiatives (e.g., Empleando Digital, Edyta project).

Considering this experience in education and innovation for the social inclusion of the Roma community, FSG has contributed to these two consultations focusing on the following key messages:

  • The tools, approaches and new possibilities offered by the digital word need to assure they reach out most vulnerable groups, instead of a creating new divide.
  • The EU Digital Competence Framework (DigComp) includes not the actual skills levels of many people without digital literacy or without the resources that the framework implicitly contemplates. FSG recommends the DigComp to be more inclusive, and include more adjusted initial levels of skills.
  • The contents and skills included in the digital education must contemplate the gender perspective, the cultural diversity and a human rights approach.
  • Contents and competencies on protection data must also be included in a specific manner, as well as those related to digital health and safe use of the technology.
  • The digital transformation must include the proper accompaniment to include the most vulnerable groups: The teachers and trainers must be comprehensively trained and up-skilled to assure that they can carry out the activities foreseen in a digital education ecosystem; and vulnerable people, such as the Roma, usually need specific accompaniment, due to the multiple education (and others) divide that they suffer (students and trainees might benefit from hybrid proposals that support them with face-to-face solutions in the digital world).
  • Due to the stated limited access to the needed technological tools and connectivity, the acquisition of equipment (specially laptops) and the connectivity to the internet should be funded to facilitate the access of families to the technology.

On the other hand, FSG works for more than 20 years with a specific programme to improve the social inclusion of Roma through employment, the Acceder Programme, and as part of this initiative, launched 3 Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs), that promote sheltered employment to people in risk of social exclusion, particularly Roma people. WISEs’ main objective is to foster the inclusion of vulnerable people into the labour market through the development of sheltered employment as a transition to the ordinary (or "unprotected") labour market. FSG’s contributions to the call on social economy focused on the following recommendations:

  • The adoption and implementation of the European Commission’s social economy action plan, which should include a specific section defining the diverse models existing in the social economy.
  • The establishment of proper mechanisms to assure that these opportunities reach Roma, supporting the Member states and companies to hire a quota of people in social exclusion.
  • Support mechanisms for contracting WISEs, contemplating the differences between the diverse models of social economy
  • Direct support mechanisms in the form of subsidies and grants to WISEs should be implemented, benefitting not only existing WISEs, but also the creation of new social economy companies
  • Specific actions must be planned to promote the creation of social companies that include Roma.

We will follow up closely the next steps of this recommendation to keep contributing for the inclusion of the Roma people.