Message of European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Ms Androulla Vassiliou, to pupils, students and teachers across Europe on the opportunity of the start of the new academic year 2010-2011.
Dear pupils, students, teachers and academic staff,
Taking this opportunity as you head back to school for the new academic year 2010 -2011, I would like to wish you a creative, fruitful and enjoyable term. Europe lays its hope on the excellent work that you will all together produce.
Today more than ever before, amid the economic crisis and tough austerity measures taken by Member States, education must remain a top priority, and help Europe to make the transition to a prosperous knowledge-based society. Education offers the best form of social protection, combating poverty and social exclusion.
We want education to open doors for our young people. We want education to support our citizens throughout their life and to provide all Europeans with the competencies that will make them competitive and successful in today's knowledge economy. From the earliest years in school, education should address the needs of our pupils and the society they will live in. This is an inclusive education with a human face, one that cultivates a strong sense of citizenship and respects our fundamental democratic principles.
We therefore all need to work even harder to deliver high-quality education in our primary, secondary and higher-education institutions. For this purpose we need to have teachers and academic staff of the highest calibre, fully conscious of the importance of their duty to society at large. I therefore take this opportunity to acknowledge the good work of our teaching and academic staff and thank them for their valuable contribution.
On our part, European Union will shortly launch the initiative "Youth on the Move" aiming at reducing the share of early school leavers to 10% and increasing the share of 30-40 year olds having completed tertiary education to at least 40% by 2020. Furthermore we are currently working on the agenda for new skills for new jobs and the modernisation of higher education, while at the same time preparing the ground for further actions on Literacy and Early school leaving.
I believe that working together, Member States, Education Institutions, teachers, parents and other stakeholders can achieve good results for our future generation of Europeans.
Once more I wish you all a productive academic year.