Strasbourg, 7 December 2018
“We were not born as fully informed and active citizens. This is something that we become with time”. This is the opening sentence of the new documentary produced by the Education Department on the Council of Europe Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC).
The video presents the Council of Europe Project on Competences for Democratic Culture and the experience of implementing the Model of Competences for Democratic Culture in Andorra and in other countries.
“It is very difficult to know what kind of future we will have. But we are certain that our generations should be equipped with competences to recognise what are the challenges and the competences how to deal with the challenges” highlighted Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General for Democracy, Council of Europe in the video.
In Andorra, the Model of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) has been integrated at all levels of education: in the education system, in higher education and research.
“Andorra is a very small country with only seventy thousand inhabitants but we have more than one hundred nationalities. So it is very important to have the values, the necessary competences to build social cohesion. We thought that the competences for democratic citizenship were perfect for generating that social cohesion” emphasised Eric Jover, Minister of Education and Higher Education of Andorra.
“I am sure that if we reinforce the Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) in all levels of education including higher education, the next generation can really shift the world and I hope it will be like that” said Miquel Nicolau, Rector of the University of Andorra in the video.
Other countries have also implemented the Model of Competences for Democratic Culture. For instance, a project supported in 2017 by the Joint Programme “Human Rights and Democracy in Action” now called “Democratic and Inclusive School Culture in Operation (DISCO)” saw the participation of Croatia, Georgia and the Slovak Republic as well as of Andorra.
As an example of the impact that the project has had on participants’ lives, one student stressed “I used to have stereotypical thinking, after the video I realised I was wrong”. Another student underlined “I have learned that I am a girl and it is not a thing to be ashamed of (…) and stereotypes cannot stop me”.
The Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC) is a policy tool as well as a practical tool for promoting democratic culture through education. It is the result of consultations and piloting activities in different countries. It targets teachers and students in the development of competences for democratic culture at grassroots level. At the same time, ministries of education and relevant national authorities can use the RFCDC as a policy tool when making changes to their education systems.
For more information:
Competences for Democratic Culture