Opening up Education: Slovenia As a Model State
The initiative »Opening Up Slovenia« was presented in the Grand Union Hotel in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on April 23, with the aim of making Slovenia a model state in the field of accessible and open educational resources. The initiative took place within the global conference OCWC 2014 under the title »Open Education for a Multicultural World«.
Jernej Pikalo, the Minister of Education, Science and Sport, emphasized that this process will give teachers, students, and industry new forms and ways of cooperation. »With this initiative Slovenia wants to upgrade existing methods in the field of education« said Minister Pikalo, adding that through the initiative, it will be possible to create a roof organization which comprises a wide range of stakeholders: the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and educational institutions working at all levels of education from kindergartens to universities.
These activities are supported internationally, especially in European Commission guidelines. Furthermore, the initiative will connect all processes that have already taken place in Slovenia since 1998. According to Minister Pikalo, Slovenia wants to make changes in 7 key areas: to transform existing educational methods into innovative, dynamic and open learning tools, to restore an environment of cooperation between public, private and voluntary sectors of research in order to develop and introduce a more open education, to build legal mechanisms in support of implementing an open education, to construct an open platform of information technologies, contents, services, pedagogical concepts and approaches, to restore mechanisms for securing a high level of quality and evaluation of services, to develop digital competencies within the entire educational system, and to carry out concrete, cross-dimensional open education projects.
Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, and Youth also attended the conference. "I am delighted that Slovenia has adopted a national strategy to promote open educational resources. This complements the Commission's own 'Opening Up Education' initiative. Our shared objective is not to replace traditional textbooks or face-to-face teaching, but to make the most of the opportunities created by digitization and new technologies. Europe cannot afford to lag behind its international rivals if we want to ensure our young people have the skills needed in the modern world. I hope that this Slovenian initiative is successful and inspires similar schemes in other Member States," commented the European Commissioner.