The European Commission has adopted a report, which will be submitted to the Seville European Council meeting, on the concept of school twinning via the internet. The Commission's report proposes that an overarching framework be set up to ensure that during their time at secondary school every young European has a chance to participate in an educational project via the Internet with pupils at other schools in Europe, provided their teachers agree.
In the report a number of conditions for the successful implementation of this general goal are identified. These include:
– The competent public authorities in all Member States should achieve the aim of having an Internet-connected PC for every 15 pupils by the end of 2003.
– The same public authorities should provide an annual budget for future twinning partnerships of from EUR 1,500 to EUR 10,000 per secondary school depending on how ambitious the aims of the partnerships are.
– Training courses need to be provided for secondary school teachers everywhere, not just to show them how to use the Internet and the associated hardware, but also, and above all, so they can learn how to incorporate the Internet and European twinning schemes into their teaching approaches.
– Structures will have to be set up at the appropriate levels to advise and assist schools, in particular school heads, on how to set about arranging European twinning partnerships, including possible twinning models, exchange of best practice, how to find partners, on-line help, information on knowledge sources and translation aids.