The Flemish government will double its investment in IT equipment for schools for the next start of the school year, which will be partly remote due to the health situation.
Distance learning took off in Flanders with the coronavirus pandemic which forced pupils to stay at home. Flanders had released an envelope to finance the first ICT investments at the time.
Earlier this month, however, the ICT coordinators of the Flemish education system sounded the alarm. They felt that the available budgets were insufficient to ensure fully effective distance learning.
On Monday, Flemish Education Minister Ben Weyts announced an extra 35 million euros, or double the original budget.
“This will enable schools to invest even more in ICT for the next school year,” Weyts commented. “These extra funds can be used, for example, for overtime for an ICT coordinator or to equip teachers and pupils with the necessary hardware and software.”
These investments are part of the plan agreed between Belgium’s different regions last week for the next school year in September. It foresees that all secondary school students will stay at home on Wednesday mornings for distance learning. If the pandemic were to pick up again, pupils would then attend school only two days a week, the rest being by distance learning.
The €35 million budget announced on Monday will be divided into two envelopes, one for primary education (€9 million) and the other for secondary education (€26 million).
The Brussels Times