by Prof. Dr. Péter SZATMÁRI, Rector of the Milton Friedman University and Dr. Zoltán SZŰTS, Head of Communication Department at Milton Friedman University
The determination of the digital competences of the European citizens or – in accordance with today's wording – civic digital competences has been concluded in order to bridge the gap between the world of education and the professional world.
Infocommunication is increasingly intertwining the subsystems of society and culture, so the significance of digital competence will be appreciated in the near future. Accordingly, frameworks including recommendations are being formed in Hungary as well worldwide. These types of frameworks play an important role in the world of training and profession, therefore they want to equip citizens with the knowledge they need to be effective. The highly emphasized digital competence involves the confident, conscious and critical use of infocommunication technologies that are the foundation of the information society in the dimensions of profession, education, private sector or even the society. Digital competence assumes the conscious use of computers and smart devices in searching, evaluating, storing, producing and sharing online information, and places emphasis on online communication and collaboration with other users. Digital competence – at the level of individuals – is one of the eight competences of lifelong learning defined by the European Union.
In the recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council competences have been defined as "an alloy of knowledge, skills and attitudes in a given situation". According to the recommendation, these competences are required for each individual for personal self-fulfillment, development, active citizenship, social integration and employment. The European Parliament and the Council have called upon the Member States to set up their own national qualification frameworks. In more than 140 countries around the world, frameworks are under development or have been developed over the last few years in order to make the certificates and diplomas issued comparable.
One of the objectives of the Hungarian government’s strategy and the related Lifelong Learning document is to integrate the various forms and levels of learning, education and training in a unified system. The document states: in order to make learning a real and available possibility for an individual at any stage and moment of life or in any life situation, it is essential to interpret lifelong learning as a unified system.
The aim of the Digital Education Strategy of Hungary is to provide public education with the opportunity to acquire the digital competences expected by the society and the labor market, while paying special attention to the requirements of vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning, as well as to the aspects of efficiency and fairness. Setting up frameworks for the identification, measurement and qualification of the existence of digital competences was essential regarding its key role in the global economy, especially in the fields of innovation, economic growth and job creation. The purpose of creating systems for describing the digital competences of trainers is to specify how digital technologies can be used to develop and innovate in education (at all levels of education and adult education).
In connection with the definition of information and communication competences that are present in the area of civic competences, it is of utmost importance that UNESCO has developed the so-called Framework of Media and Information Literacy (MIL). The framework covers these two traditionally separated areas together and combines media literacy and IT skills into a collective concept. The main goal of the MIL framework is to promote the spread of media and information literacy among instructors in developing and emerging countries. It is the requirement of UNESCO that the material has to be reviewed, considered and treated as a live document by the participants. Furthermore, they have to alter and develop the curriculum together.