Press Release by MEP Ádám Kósa
On 8th May in the European Parliament, MEP Ádám Kósa, President of the Disability Intergroup hosted the launch of the latest European study on Vocational Education and Training (VET) with active involvement of distinguished professionals and representatives of international bodies and European Institutions. The study highlighted that every citizen must be equipped with the skills needed to live and work in the new information society and special attention must be paid to young disabled people in particular, being one of the most vulnerable groups in Europe.
In his opening speech MEP Kósa highlighted the importance of the everyday practice and proved solutions. He pointed out:
This study is worth considering because its focus is on 'what works' in VET for learners with Special Education Needs (SEN) and/or disabilities as well as 'why it works' and 'how it works'. Therefore it is always important to support policy guidelines with real and living examples so that good practices could be spread. To this Hungary has always been and remains committed.
Per Gunnvall and Cor Meijer, Chairman and Director of the European Agency animated the presentation and pointed out that the VET could be a key tool at national, European and international levels. Detailed results were also presented by Mary Kyriazopoulou and Harald Weber from the European Agency.
Professor Serge Ebersold provided the link between results and theoretical evidence:
Now that we know what works in practice, we need to know if it works in theory". Rory O’Sullivan, Principal from Killester College, illustrated clear and convincing evidence through an example of practical implementation. He said that "if our students don't learn the way we teach them, we must learn how to teach them.
After the deliverance of professional presentations, five key respondents contributed to the active discussion, namely: EPP Group MEP Heinz K. Becker, Dana Carmen Bachmann Head of Unit from the European Commission (DG Education and Culture), Olympia Stylianou, Permanent Secretary of the Cypriot Ministry of Education, Rudi Delarue from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Simona Giarratano from the European Disability Forum and Don Mahon, representative of the Irish Presidency.
Background: The study has been conducted by the European Agency for Development in Special Needs and Inclusive Education, following a request from its member countries. 26 countries were involved in the study, 55 national experts have participated and 28 local practices were analysed. The key outcome of the project analysis is that what is good and efficient practice for learners with SEN/disabilities is good for all learners. The focus is to be placed on learner's abilities and the added value of the disability. It has further been concluded that changes for improvement are indeed possible and real involvement from all stakeholders concerned in the field of VET is crucial.
Brussels, 8 May, 2013