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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Progress of Lisbon Strategy

A report I'm not utterly happy to comment, but I should do it, however. It seems like there is some progress on the Lisbon Strategy (the 5 benchmarks are:
  • No more than 10% of students should leave school early (aged 18-24);
  • A decrease of at least 20% in the percentage of underachieving pupils in reading literacy;
  • At least 85% of young people should have completed upper secondary education;
  • An increase of 15% in the number of tertiary graduates in mathematics, science and technology, with a simultaneous decrease in the gender imbalance, and;
  • 12.5% of adults should participate in lifelong learning.)
The bad news is that this progress isn't enough. Some countries got better in some fields, some are stagnated. And Bulgaria and Romania are on the tragic bottom of illiterate people.
I can't be but absolutely upset by such news. I mean, think how limited the life of a person that can read well is. In our time, there is a constant need to read or write something and the lack of that ability is equal to a real disability. The worst is that this is no longer true only for extremely poor people, like gipsies. I hear with my own ear a kid misread "give away" instead of "sell" /in Bulgarian, of course, in English both word are absolutely different/. The kid was like 11 and didn't look poor or lacking proper care. It was just unbelievable. But it happens. And this report only shows it. I hope we do something about it, because having so many people miseducated is really really bad. And notice, this survey is only about the ability to read. What about the general culture. Some people in Southern Bulgaria, that are well brain-washed by brotherly Turkey, think there were Muslims in Europe for thousands of years. Which is obviously impossible. But stupidity thrives in ingorance. Not to mention the benefits from manipulative point of view.
Oh, well, the point was that it the education is important for so many reasons, we really have to work hard to improve it across Europe.

EU lagging behind on education, illiteracy on rise

11 July 2008

The Commission's annual benchmark report finds that member states' progress towards the Lisbon Strategy's goals on education and training is too slow for them to be reached by 2010 and highlights growing illiteracy rates as a major problem.

Each year, the Commission assesses the progress of member states in the area of education and training with regard to the Lisbon Strategy's goals. It uses 16 indicatorsPdf external with regard to five benchmarksPdf external agreed by member states to be achieved by 2010.

The 2008 reportPdf external - the fifth in a series of annual progress reports - shows that the number of maths, science and technology graduates is increasing while the number of early school leavers is decreasing. It also indicates an increase in both upper secondary attainment and adult participation in lifelong learning.

However, countries have failed to bring down the share of low performing readers. Instead of the targeted 20% decrease, illiteracy has actually increased by more than 10% since 2000.

According to the Commission, all countries have their own relative strengths and weaknesses across the benchmark areas and "there are significant divergences between member states and fields".

Regarding reading skills, the benchmark lists Romania and Bulgaria at the bottom with 53.5% and 51.1% of "low achievers" respectively. Finland is the bloc's top performer on this (with just 4.8% low achievers), followed by Ireland (12.1%) and Estonia (13.6%).

For the other indicators, Poland has recorded the highest growth in maths, science and technology graduates since 2000 while Sweden has boosted the participation of adults in lifelong learning the most. The Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia both share the lowest number of early school leavers and record the highest number of young people completing upper secondary education. source

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