Fundació Jaume BofillUniversitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

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We are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Debats d’Educació by giving the educational community the opportunity to air its views

Joan Ramon Alegret
Joan Ramon Alegret
Manager of Education for Microsoft Ibérica

I am Juan Ramón Alegret Crespí, Manager of Education for Microsoft Ibérica. Computer engineer with a degree from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and more than 30 years of experience in the world of Information and Communication Technologies, 15 of which involve ICT applied to Education. 
I began my professional career at the Cartographic Institute of Catalonia, to continue working for a number of multinational companies in the ICT sector: Siemens, Unisys, Sun Microsystems and currently Microsoft, where I perform a number of roles and international responsibilities.

The three things I’ve learned

The necessary transformation of education requires a major social agreement to carry it out. We must move forward from words to actions.
1

The necessary educational transformation will only be possible with the cooperation of society

Education is a joint responsibility: family, teachers, public administrations, civil society, etc.  Therefore, the new educational model that we need must be the result of joint collaboration of all stakeholders, including civil society, businesses and other organizations.
This extensive collaboration is required not only for the necessary transformation of the system, but that the solutions will undoubtedly require us to face challenges such as financing infrastructures, teacher training and technologies, improving the role of teachers, etc.
Thus, it is a task to be taken on by all of society, well above political parties, trade union or business interests.  If we seek to avoid stagnation, this must be undertaken with a nationwide agreement.  

2

We are unaware of the competencies and skills that workers will need in 10 to 20 years

We live in an ever-changing world where fluctuations appear swiftly.  We prepare children and young people to defend themselves in a society and work environment that we are oblivious to.  Who is therefore responsible for defining the learning processes, the contents, skills and other competencies, etc.? 
Consensus is also necessary in this sphere, as well as collaboration and backing from society (public administrations, entrepreneurs, trade unions, teachers, universities, parent-teacher associations, etc.). 
It seems that the leadership must be undertaken by public administrations, but should they fail to do so, it is the civil society that must take the first step.

3

We are moving towards a cooperation model led by civil society where public administrations are just another stakeholder

In the recent past and today, too much weight and responsibility of the educational model has been loaded onto the shoulders of public administration.  In the current and future context, the roles will be inter-changed. 

 

In Catalonia, we have a very active and innovative educational sector, with a number of schools, both public and private, that have become international points of reference.  We also count on a very dynamic and export oriented industry (publishers, ICT learning techniques and ICT companies). Upon joining together social awareness of the role of education, the associative nature of our society and the support and dynamics that other bodies and foundations provide, we will have the necessary context to establish the civil leadership that is necessary for transformation in education. 

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