Improving the provision of digital skills in education. What are the needs of teachers?


As part of its 2022 work programme on education and the implementation of the Digital Education Action Plan, the European Commission is preparing two complementary proposals for Council Recommendations on enabling factors for digital education and improving the provision of digital skills in education. The two initiatives, addressing specifically formal education, are expected to be published in the first quarter of 2023 and submitted for adoption at the spring meeting of the Education Council of the EU.

ETUCE welcomes the initiative of the European Commission to identify the necessary steps to improve the provision of digital skills to enhance the quality and inclusion of education the specific focus dedicated to teachers, academics, and other education personnel. With the view to outline the specific needs of education staff regarding digital skills, a newly adopted Statement by the ETUCE Committee exhorts the EU Commission to address the following demands in the text of the initiative:

  • Embed digital skills within the holistic mission of education and education pedagogies. Indeed, adequate digital skills constitute only one component, among many others, of a complex ecosystem to ensure good use of digital technologies and provide quality education for all.
  • Improve the quality of and update teacher initial education and accessibility and quality of continuous professional development within working hours to meet the needs of digital skills hand-in-hand with educational pedagogies and digital literacy.   
  • Refrain from reducing the value of full qualifications through a market of small certifications (e.g., MOOCs and micro-credentials. 
  • Respect the fundamental values of professional autonomy and academic freedom of teachers, academics, and other education personnel in deciding if, when, and how it is more appropriate to use digital technologies in their pedagogies.  In this respect it is important the education policies trust and empower teachers, academics, and other education personnel in their professional role in applying digital skills in the way these best fit their educational pedagogies and students’ needs
  • Provide adequate remunerated working time for education staff to effectively integrate digital skills in teaching and learning and foster the development of a public supportive ecosystem to ensure proper and critical use of digital technologies in education pedagogies.   
  • Enhance the attractiveness of the profession through increased salaries and improved career progression to better recruit and retain high-qualified staff, particularly in STEM subjects.  

Read more:

ETUCE Statement on improving the provision of digital skills

Education trade unions’ view on keys for proper use of digital technologies in education