Until 2020, European Union aims that the early school dropout rate shall be fewer than 10% | SIVECO Romania

Until 2020, European Union aims that the early school dropout rate shall be fewer than 10%

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

To yield results, the educational process has to be interactive and be based on the latest technologies, thus becoming a pleasant activity for the students

In the European Union’s current vision, lifelong as well as vocational training play an essential role in the economic development of Member States. At the same time, they ensure citizens acquiring knowledge and skills that are helpful to their personal evolution and multi-cultural adjustment, too.

What do European statistics say?

Today, although million of European citizens of all ages have access to a wide range of types of education – formal, non-formal and informal, the majority of European countries are faced with a crisis situation regarding early school dropout

UE research has shown that the main cause of school dropout lies in the lack of motivation to learn combined with the more and more increased reluctance towards conventional and traditional models of training.

According to public statistics, the average early school dropout rate is 12% at the European Union’s level.

Still, there are big differences between the Member States. For instance, this percentage reaches to over 20% in Spain and Malta and ranges between 15%-20% in Romania, Italy and Portugal. At the same time, the percentage varies depending on gender, being lesser for girls (12.5%) than for boys (16.3%). 

The early school dropout rate exceeds 30% (being even over 70% in some countries) for the disabled persons, amplifying their existing social exclusion risk.

European Union aims that, by 2020, the early school dropout rate shall be under 10%.

Another worrying phenomenon is the youngsters more and more reduced orientation towards the technical subject matters.

Practically, the percentage of graduated specialized in exact sciences has dropped from 12% (as it was in year 2000) to 9%.

There is indisputable proof that this youngsters’ alienation from the technical field starts in the secondary education cycle, namely when, in most of the countries, the pupils have the option to select the subjects they wish to study further on.

The lack of disinterest for exact science subjects is linked to the perception that these are difficult and provide less chances to quickly building a profitable career (as compared to subject matters with economic or legal character etc).

The NEWTON Project

Launched this month within the Horizon 2020 Program, NEWTON project (Networked Labs for Training in Sciences and Technologies for Information and Communication) has as main objective increasing just the motivation for the pupils in the secondary and gymnasium education, from vocational schools and the schools dedicated to persons with physical disabilities, by transforming learning into a pleasant, interesting, useful activity, with help of the most recent technological innovations: augmented reality, gamification (learning based on games specific elements) and self-directed learning (autonomous learning).

The project will run until February 2019, being coordinated by Dublin City University (Ireland).

Given the pan-European scale and its complexity, 14 partners from 7 countries are participating in carrying out the project: Dublin City University from Ireland, San Pablo University – CEU in Madrid (Spain), National College of Ireland, Brunel University (England), Technical University in Bratislava (Slovakia), SIVECO Romania, Bucharest University (Romania), White Loop Limited (England), Beyond (Italy), QUI!Group (Italy), ATOS IT Solutions (Slovakia), Adaptemy (Ireland), KYBERTEC (Czech Republic) and ATOS Research and Innovation (Spain).

While stress is being laid on the modalities of non-formal and informal education, the NEWTON project includes:

  • constructivist collaborative pedagogic models, based on IT&C technologies, supporting customized and distributed learning environments
  • informal education based on augmented reality, implying games, virtual spaces, immersive environments
  • interactive educational content (multi-sensorial, multi-modal) multimedia, cinematic productions, accessible in virtual learning environments, adaptable to the user profile and the learning environment.

These approaches are also valid in the undertaking of increasing the interest for exact sciences, as they facilitate understanding of subjects considered difficult.

At the same time, they are innovative modalities of adjusting to the training requirements for disabled persons with special needs.

SIVECO participation in the NEWTON project

SIVECO has been selected to participate in this project due to the expertise accumulated in developing complex educational projects, its capacity for implementing top-notch technologies (augmented reality, multi-sensorial interactive content) and multi-cultural content (in English, French, Greek, Russian languages etc), as well as strong references obtained in large international projects, in Cyprus, Malta, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan.

“We are very happy to participate in such a project, where we can capitalize on the result of research undertaking within SIVECO. The NEWTON objectives reflect very well our own work in the field of eLearning, based on the educational paradigm of XXI century, dynamic and pupil-centered. In today’s world, it is necessary that the pupil should be able to manage the modality of accessing knowledge according to his/her specific needs, being helped also by technology in the selection process. In order to yield results, the educational process has to be interactive, based on the latest technologies and on the new ways of communication, thus becoming a pleasant activity“, declares Monica Florea, Manager of European Projects Department within SIVECO Romania.

SIVECO participation within the NEWTON project includes:

  • implementing the AeL platform Learning Management System
  • implementing functionalities of augmented reality, gamification type
  • development of customized, multi-sensorial and multi-modal content, including for persons with special needs
  • collaborating with the Bucharest University for implementing a pilot project according to NEWTON concept in St. Mary School (for 100 children with impaired hearing).