The second conference of ELINET (European Literacy Policy Network) was organised in Budapest, between the 20th and 22nd April 2015, by the HIERD.
76 institutes from 28 countries participate in ELINET. The objective of the network is to improve literacy across Europe. The Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development has been an active member since the beginning of the project. Literacy has come to our focus this year due to another international event as well: CIDREE, the Consortium of Institutions for Development and Research in Education in Europe publishes its yearbook focusing on this very topic. The yearbook is edited by the HIERD, and the upcoming conference of CIDREE will be held in Budapest, on the 5th-6th November 2015.
Welcome speeches were given by Deputy Minister of State András VIRÁG, the Deputy Leader of the Presidential Secretariat of the Parliament, Dr. Zoltán POMPOR, Deputy Director General of the HIERD and Dr. Attila NAGY, Founding President of the Hungarian Reading Association, and member of the EU High Level Group of Experts on Literacy between 2011-2012. Dr. Christine GARBE, project coordinator of ELINET presented the results that the network has achieved so far, and what are the challenges ahead.
Participants then worked in sessions and groups for the three days of the conference. The discussions centred on country reports, best practices, and practical matters such as fundraising, marketing, communication strategy, operating the website, clarifying concepts of literacy, and related topics such as digital literacy, reading for pleasure, tools for raising literacy levels and case studies. A unified framework was developed as guidance for the structure of country reports, in order to identify key areas for raising literacy, so that ELINET can provide the most specific advice for DG EAC. Criteria of good practices were debated, and gaps identified. Members conducted interviews with pilot organisations. Translation issues were discussed, and a plan was accepted to create a literacy glossary with some 200 terms. The fundraising group discussed how to transform ELINET into a sustainable network after the end of the EU funding period. The Reading for Pleasure group talked about the results of a research on the benefits of this activity. Digital literacy education was also a point of discussion, with the goal of finding a common ground between ELINET and DigiLitEY, The Digital and Multimodal Practices of Young Children. Results of the working group discussion were then presented at the closing plenary session.
Planning for the European Literacy Week in September 2015 has also begun, in the frames of which the ELINET delegation will raise awareness about the importance of literacy in Brussels, while member institutions also prepare their own activities in their respective countries.
At the closing day of the conference, Dr. Tamás KÖPECZI-BÓCZ, Deputy Minister of State for the Coordination and Strategies of EU Developments highlighted the importance of the struggle against functional illiteracy, while Mr. József KAPOSI, Director General of the HIERD, also participated at the event.