digitalization DigitalPact for universities and child and youth welfare
The Federal Youth Board of Trustees calls for a joint “digital pact for child and youth welfare” from the federal and state governments. We are already one step further in promoting universities.
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The federal government considers a joint digitization strategy for child and youth welfare by the federal, state and local governments to be necessary. A federal-state working group set up by the Conference of Youth and Family Ministers is currently discussing the need for action.
“The institutional structure of growing up – child day care, schools, child and youth welfare, etc. – is not yet adequately prepared for the challenges associated with digitality in everyday life for young people,” emphasizes the Federal Youth Board of Trustees (BJK), the expert committee with 15 experts from politics, administration, associations and science advises the federal government and is based at the German Youth Institute. There is still a lack of both the necessary digital equipment and the professional quality in the institutions as well as the design of the offers.
The BJK therefore sees an “urgent need to set up a digital pact for child and youth welfare between the federal and state governments and to further develop child and youth welfare with an independent digital strategy across the board – including child day care – for the digital age”. The BJK also appeals to the municipalities not to forget public and free child and youth welfare in their digitization strategies.
“The DigitalPact Child and Youth Welfare must set professional standards that aim to be barrier-free and prevent exclusions and stigmatization in the digital world too,” adds the BJK. “A differentiated digital strategy is needed to design the social infrastructure for young people in child and youth welfare. A future federal government should come to an agreement on how and with what resources it will politically support digital strategies with reference to childhood and youth and how it will shape a digital pact for child and youth welfare in a sustainable and long-term manner. ”
Specifically, the BJK formulates eleven demands that revolve around the topics of “Children’s and youth rights in everyday digital life”, “Equipment and professional standards” and “Digital policy for childhood and youth”.
In addition to an “adequate infrastructure and equipment with internet connections and suitable hardware and software”, which should be compatible with equipment in other areas of life, educational institutions and social services, the BJK also needs more qualifications for child and youth welfare professionals. The protection of children and young people in digital space is also seen as central.
With regard to the digitization of universities, the federal and state governments are already working together – “along the federal distribution of competencies”. As the federal government explains, the universities are supported in a variety of ways by the federal government, for example with funding for research into digital higher education or through the “University Forum Digitization”. The forum defines itself as a central source of inspiration for the networking of universities, politics, business and society.
“Through new measures, up to half a billion euros will be used over the next four years to support universities and technical colleges across the board in the transformation in the digital age,” emphasizes the German government.
Support also comes from the “Foundation for Innovation in University Teaching”, which, as a trust foundation, awards public funds on behalf of the federal and state governments. Their first funding announcement “Strengthening university teaching through digitization” was recently published, with which selected universities can be supported with up to 360 million euros over the next four years. Funding for the selected projects begins on August 1, 2021.
With the federal-state agreement “AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Higher Education”, the federal government is also expected to provide a further 120 million euros to the universities by 2025 in order to roll out the key technology “artificial intelligence” on a broad basis. Starting this year, the “Future Contract for Studies and Teaching” will also provide around 150 million euros in additional federal funds compared to the “University Pact 2020”, which can also be used for the necessary digitization in teaching.
The statement of the BJK on the DigitalPact child and youth welfare with the eleven demands can be downloaded here as a PDF.