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14th APDC Congress – Lifelong learning is the great challenge for Portuguese society

COLLAB distinguished with the APDC / Siemens Innovation Award

The low level of education of the population over 25 years of age, 80 percent of whom have not completed the second cycle of basic education, poses a greater challenge to a Society that wants knowledge and has to foster lifelong learning . In the first panel this morning at the 14th APDC Congress, the speakers argued that it is necessary to increase the levels of training and that this will have to be done with public-private partnerships, involving the whole of civil society.

To respond to the challenge of massifying training and certification in Civil Society, Diogo Vasconcelos, manager of UMIC, challenges companies, the public administration and associations and even workers to participate in new strategies, ensuring competition for the qualification to compete not only with the United States but with China, Japan and Korea.

We have to be able to want to continue learning, an area where Diogo Vasconcelos recognizes a big deficit in Portugal

To mobilize the country around this challenge of education, José Tribolet, president of INESC, bets on Civil Society and not on the Ministry of Education. «I think we should abolish the Ministry of Education for 5 years and then we would create it again so we wanted to do it», he challenges.

But José Tribolet leaves yet another concept, that of “educational SCUTS”, a project of partnership between public and private entities with common objectives to develop training in Portugal. «The problem is not a lack of money because these investments are highly profitable and it has already been proven that for well done projects there is no lack of financing», he justifies.

Information and communication technologies bring extraordinary means of collaboration and distance learning, which can be used as long as people have the knowledge bases and training to work together, adds José Tribolet.

In this area, Diogo Vasconcelos recalled some of the projects developed by UMIC, including the Online Knowledge Library (B-on) which will triple the content in the next year, the connection of broadband primary and secondary schools and the creation of ICT discipline in secondary schools.

Defending that all subjects should be transformed into ICT subjects, integrating in the curriculum plan the use of more interactive forms of learning, Diogo Vasconcelos reminded however that ICT is not the “miracle” to motivate students, but that it is necessary to transform all schools in knowledge browsers. As fundamental instruments it points the connection in broadband networks, access to knowledge contents, installation in the classrooms of interactive smartboards the possibility of all teachers having their own PC.

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