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What is Teach for Youth -- Upgrade to Erasmus 2.0?


Inspired by the action of the American non-profit organization Teach for America and the global network Teach for All *, our initiative aims at eliminating educational inequity within the European Union by enrolling highly motivated and high-achieving recent EU college graduates as well as postgraduates to teach for one to two years in urban and rural low-income and in high-need communities throughout the European Union.



Our initiative is grounded on three observations:

(1) Most of recent college graduates or postgraduates often lack real-life experiences and the selfconfidence that usually comes with them, which makes their insertion on the job market more difficult and painful, especially during economic turmoil;

(2) Mostly because of socioeconomic factors, numerous pupils in several EU Member States do not have access to equitable educational opportunities, notably learning another official language of the European Union or acquiring basic knowledge in mathematics and sciences;

(3) An important reason of the lack of a European sense of belonging – or affectio societatis – within EU population is the quasi-inexistence of contact between them and other EU citizens during their childhood and teenage hood, in particular for those who live in low-income and in high-need areas.



Our initiative aims at bringing an innovative solution to those three issues.
Indeed, by providing a critical source of additional teachers who would make sure that pupils get equitable educational opportunities, Teach for Youth would, at the same time, enable recent college graduates and postgraduates to gain a genuine real-life experience that would give them greater selfconfidence when entering the job market.

Besides, having teachers coming from the different EU Member States would familiarize pupils with the reality and diversity of the European Union as well as it would help breathing a European sense of belonging into them and thus encouraging those pupils to study outside their country later through the Erasmus programme.


Somehow, Teach for Youth would be the second step of the Erasmusian journey of each EU students!  


Graduates and Postgraduates who would participate in the programme should be provided with accomodation, a living stipend, a teaching stipend, as well as the possibility to earn some ECTS if they plan on pursuing an academic degree afterwards.



Our initiative should become part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme. It is legally based on Articles 165 and 166 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, notably paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 165:


“1. The Union shall contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, by supporting and supplementing their action, while fully respecting the responsibility of the Member States for the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity.

2. Union action shall be aimed at:
— developing the European dimension in education, particularly through the teaching and dissemination of the languages of the Member States,
— encouraging mobility of students and teachers, by encouraging inter alia, the academic recognition of diplomas and periods of study,
— promoting cooperation between educational establishments,

— encouraging the development of youth exchanges and of exchanges of socio-educational instructors, and encouraging the participation of young people in democratic life in Europe…”



(* Teach for Youth is not a part of and has no official relationship with either Teach for All or Teach for America)


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