Quality education solves global problems.


Any government that wants to run efficiently has to address several complex challenges associated with issues such as digitalisation and sustainability, green and circular growth, climate changes and renewable energy, just to name a few.

The search for optimal solutions to these problems is aggravated by the lack of people qualified to resolve them. Hence, there is a need for a fundamental review and reform of existing education and training systems. Nevertheless, we believe that certain European initiatives could assist in accelerating quality teaching around the world.

All modern states need to increase the number of people in the workforce (and in teaching) who are qualified to address today’s problems by making teaching both an attractive employment for young professionals and a stimulus for a lifelong working experience.

A reformed national education policy should not only put additional emphasis on national development priorities, but also on education providers both in basic education and further education to help develop the new knowledge and experience required by digitalisation, sustainability demands and green agendas.

These skills will enable students and the future workforce to prosper in tomorrow’s world. The present educational revolution is transforming all walks of life and socio-economic growth patterns. The following are just some examples where educational reforms are having the most fundamental impact.

Adapting to change

Since the beginning of the 21st century, several challenges have been guiding the transformation of the political economy of most states – for instance, sustainability, the digital transition, the circular economy and climate change adaptation.

These and other challenges have been dramatically affecting national governance systems, corporate management and existing growth models. Currently, countries are trying to tackle the challenges by modernising outdated and old-fashioned education systems.

New facets of socio-economic development inspired by these modern challenges require adaptive workforces with new skills and, or re-skilling for a modernised labour market. Most far-sighted states have turned their governance structures towards the only feasible solution, ie, transforming their education and training systems in line with changing labour force demands.

Our new book provides some recommendations for national governments and, particularly, for education facilities when it comes to educational reform.

Business education reform

When it comes to education providers and universities, many are finding it difficult to develop the necessary governance instruments and measures to tackle global challenges which have become, at the same time, as pressing as national socio-economic issues.

The only feasible solution is to develop the necessary skills and professions to deal with the emerging problems. For example, modern corporate/business-oriented education needs to adapt quickly to the challenges and transformations in contemporary socio-economic development that are influenced by sustainability, circular economy, greener, inclusive and digital growth patterns.

The success of the latter, to a great extent, depends on students having adequate skills and qualifications as well as on a complete change in business education policy and training.

Business education reform is a vital instrument in sustainable socio-economic development and national wellbeing – with basic and specific skills future entrepreneurs are likely to better serve national priorities and create more business opportunities.

Our book has some recommendations for modernising business education and assisting it to adapt quickly to new challenges and working conditions with new teaching and online technologies.

European Union leadership

EU institutions, particularly the European Commission, are endorsing new proposals on urgently needed reforms in education in the EU member states that could be emulated around the world. Most prominent is the recent initiative on the EU’s educational assistance to Africa.

At the end of January 2023, the EU launched its Regional Teachers’ Initiative for Africa, a €100 million (US$109 million) investment to empower the world’s fastest growing youth population through quality education.

This flagship initiative under the EU-Africa Global Gateway Investment Package aims to accelerate the training of teachers in Sub-Saharan Africa, responding to the need for 15 million new qualified teachers in Africa by 2030.

The initiative will contribute to regional and national objectives by supporting and complementing national education and teacher reforms, and offer opportunities for cross-country collaboration, partnerships and accelerated learning of new skills.

It is known that well-trained and motivated teachers are vital for improving learning outcomes, transforming education systems and accelerating progress towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, particularly, SDG 4 on quality education. It is estimated that one in three teachers in Sub-Saharan Africa lack the minimum required qualifications and training.

The EU-27 and the African Union have already endorsed the Regional Teachers’ Initiative as part of the EU-Africa Global Gateway Investment Package. The initiative is also a key element of the implementation of the Youth Action Plan for EU external action that aims to engage, empower and connect young people.

The EU and its member states are key partners in boosting quality education worldwide through the Team Europe programme. Investment in education in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia and the Pacific will rise to more than €6 billion by 2027, focusing on quality teachers, necessary working skills, inclusive and equitable education systems, opportunity-driven vocational education and training and higher education and mobility.

Teaching reform is at the heart of how we address our future global challenge and Europe is helping to move this agenda forward.

Dr Eugene Eteris is a visiting professor at Turiba University, Latvia. He has been an adviser to the president of the Latvian Academy of Sciences in economics, politics and education. He is head of the European Integration Institute in Denmark. Dr Ojars Sparitis is vice-president of the Latvian Academy of Sciences and professor at the Latvian Academy of Arts. He is deeply involved in international cooperative networks in science, art and education. Their book, Modern Educational Revolution: Challenges and solutions, is available in seven languages.

Source: UWN