Isabel Celaá, minister of Education, opens enlightED 2019

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The Minister of Education, Isabel Celáa, recognises that we are in an era that puts education (and pedagogy) at the centre of the system, and it is through education that the world can be changed. We live in a world in which the only reality is disruptive change that alters what we have known up to now, a technological revolution brought about by the knowledge sciences. Robots are no longer just literature, we are contemporaries of that future; AI, cloud technologies, 5G, etc. are changes in our lives and in education, which we look to in order to generate the knowledge of young people, the creators of the future.
Changes in society are a challenge for the education system, education as public policy is of interest. Education is important as a basis for change because it means development of the human person, a tool for equality and a gateway factor to the economy; it is important to tackle the inequality that leads to the gap between the precariat and the professionals.
The transition to labour automation is high in Spain, especially in sectors where workers have lower skill levels; hence the importance of education, as we must avoid polarising the labour market. Algorithms and robots may work according to a pattern, but the most creative occupations will be the least affected by automation. Students must be guided not to compete with robots; they must be taught to think, to consolidate meaningful results. The key today is to learn how to learn, as we do not know in which society the pupils will live. What we must do is ensure that young people want to and can continue their education after school (longlife learning).
Spain needs students to graduate from compulsory education, but 90% should stay in post-compulsory education. It is essential. To this end, a new model of teaching and learning is taking shape, and digitalisation is central and transversal, as it opens up new ways of thinking, implemented from early childhood education onwards. Vocational education and training should be a pathway to prestige, collaborating with companies, but there is still a long way to go.
Without a doubt, education is of vital importance, an agreement must be reached, a pact untainted by tangential issues. Risks come hand in hand with opportunities.

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