Today, the Commission published a proposal for a Council Recommendation on blended learning to support high quality and inclusive primary and secondary education. ‘Blended learning’ in formal education and training is the term used to describe when a school, educator or student takes more than one approach to the learning process. It can be a blend of school site and other physical environments (companies, training centres, distance learning, outdoor, cultural sites, etc.), or blending different learning tools that can be digital and non-digital. The Commission proposes shorter-term measures to address the most pressing gaps exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a way forward for blending learning environments and tools in primary and secondary education and training, that can help build more resilient education and training systems.
Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel said: “Striving for a vision of better quality and inclusive education and training is by no means limited to the COVID-19 context. There is an opportunity now to learn and move forward from the most recent experiences. Today’s proposal maps a vision of the education we want to see in Europe. One that supports the overall goals of the European Education Area and Digital Education Action Plan to promote quality and inclusion, green and digital education across Europe. The recommendation aims to guide Member States in strengthening the preparedness and outreach of their education systems to the benefit of pupils and students, their families and the pedagogical staff.”
Blended learning can help to improve the inclusiveness of education, particularly due to its flexibility. It can mean better education provision in remote and rural areas, and for those who are part of traveller communities, or residing in hospitals and care centres, and those engaged in high-performance training. All environments and tools should be equally accessible to minority groups, children with disabilities or from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and should not lead to discrimination or segregation.