Ensuring quality education - Recommendation CM/Rec(2012)13 and explanatory memorandum (2014)
With the possible exception of “employability”, no word is used more frequently in current education debate than “quality”. However, quality itself is rarely debated. It tends to be taken for granted and discussions focus on how it may best be achieved.
The Council of Europe takes the view that the quality of education needs to be assessed in accordance with what we – public authorities, educators and the public in general – want education to achieve. The Committee of Ministers Recommendation CM/Rec(2012)13 on ensuring quality education links the notion of quality to the purposes of education: preparation for employment; preparation for life as active citizens in democratic societies; personal development; or the development and maintenance of a broad and advanced knowledge base. The recommendation considers that ensuring quality education is a public responsibility which needs to be adapted to the level of education and age of students. It distinguishes between the quality of individual schools and higher education institutions and the quality of education systems. It also emphasises that, at system level, social inclusion must be seen as an integral part of the notion of quality. If an education system has a few lite schools and higher education institutions but does not provide adequate opportunities for all its students, it cannot be considered a high quality system.
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