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More Brussels schools to get wifi in shift to digital learning

11:12 21/11/2022

More schools in Brussels will be equipped with wifi in the coming months as part of a special project aimed at modernising education.

The Brussels minister for digital transition Bernard Clerfayt (DéFI) first launched the initiative earlier this year, with the goal of making wifi available in all Brussels secondary schools by 2024.

So far, 179 Brussels secondary schools have been brought online, with a further 51 following shortly.

Called "Branche ton école" - or "connect your school" - the project is the continuation of the "Fibre to the School" project begun in 2014 by the Brussels Regional Informatics Centre (BRIC) and IRISnet, with the support of the Brussels government.

“With Branche ton école, we ensure that schools are sufficiently equipped to offer digital education,” Nicolas Locoge, BRIC director general, said at the project’s launch.

“In this way, they can prepare young people to participate actively in tomorrow's digital society.”

Minister Clerfayt’s plan is two pronged, with wifi access being one goal and equipping students with mobile digital equipment the other. That equipment includes laptops, Chromebooks, tablets, projectors and interactive whiteboards for schools.

Brussels secured €5.2 million in funding from the European recovery plan for digitisation in schools, and will focus on those in low-income neighbourhoods first.

More than 180 secondary schools in the capital have already been approached as part of the project’s framework, and about 100 visits and personalised analyses of schools' needs have been carried out.

Around 70 schools will be contacted in the coming weeks to start surveys and analyses in 2023.

Written by Helen Lyons