The Flemish government is giving schools up to 510 euros per pupil to invest in the digitization of education. With this amount the schools can purchase or lease laptops for their students.
The Flemish government announced the plan on Monday, VRT writes. The government previously announced that it will invest 375 million euros in the digitization of education, compared to the current budget of 32 million euros per year. At that time, however, it was not yet known what amount would be made available per student, which has since been clarified.
510 euros will be made available per pupil for secondary education. In the fifth and sixth year of primary education, 290 euros will be made available per pupil. For the fourth grade and below, 25 euros per pupil is allocated; for that group, it is necessary to invest in shared devices in the classroom, writes De Tijd.
In addition, 50 million euros will be invested in the IT infrastructure, which amounts to 42 euros per student. Students must have learning software, a good, secure internet connection and peripherals. Teachers should also be better supported with ICT material. The government also wants to update the knowledge and expertise of cybersecurity. The intention is that this ‘digital leap’ will be used from next school year, up to and including the 2022-2023 school year.
The plans for this ‘digital leap’ for Flemish education were presented at the end of last year. The government then stated that Flemish education is lagging behind in the field of digitization, and that the corona crisis has made this lag more clear. “We are seizing the corona crisis to change the future,” said Ben Weyts, the Flemish Minister of Education last year. In November, the Flemish government already purchased 15,000 laptops for vulnerable children to help them receive education during the corona crisis.