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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Portugal: Universalization of Digital Schooling Programme

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Portugal: Universalization of Digital Schooling Programme

17 September 2020
Country news

The response to COVID-19 pandemic reinforced the need to further equip Portuguese schools, teachers and students with digital skills.  Such strategy is being implemented as of this academic year 2020/2021 and aims at providing access to all students and teachers of digital educational tools and resources.  Priority will be granted to students from vulnerable socioeconomic background for whom 100,000 computers are planned to be made available until the end of 2020.

The social section of the Economic and Social Stabilisation Programme, considers that the impact of COVID-19 pandemic highlighted an existing and reported structural need: the necessity to equip schools, teachers and students with digital skills for school work. The universalisation process of digital school is based on four cornerstones: equipment, connectivity, teacher training and digital teaching resources.

During the current school year, the following measures are due to be implemented:

  • At infrastructural level, the acquisition of computers and correspondent software licenses and enhance the connectivity for public schools;
  • Make the didactic resources available to students and teachers, giving priority to the students receiving school social support until universal use is achieved –  the first 100,000 computers will be made available until December 2020, with model types varying according to the education cycle and all with access to the internet via mobile broadband installed and ready to use;
  • Digital training program for teachers;
  • Increasing the production of paperless/digital textbooks along with new and adapted digital resources.

In this context, the Ministry of Education initiated a number of key initiatives aimed at consolidating the various parts of this programme, including:

  • An analysis of teachers’ level of competence, which will enable the programme to focus on their training and qualifications;
  • The training of trainers which will enable a large number of teachers to acquire the appropriate and required skills;
  • Digital transition plans for each school cluster;
  • The creation of "Digital Ambassadors" at Training Centres (Centros de Formação - CFAE), to facilitate the implementation of local digital transition plans;
  • A virtual school textbooks pilot programme.

This measure is geared towards students and teachers, with a budget of €400 million financed by European funds.

Source:  Eurydice Unit Portugal

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