Yolanda Martínez, IBSTEAM Team Coordinator, Martí March, Education, University & Research Minister & Amanda Fernández, Director General of Early Childhood, Innovation & Educational Community. | Youtube

Around 7,000 computers will be made available to vulnerable students in the Balearic Islands during the 2020/21 academic year to make sure they can take classes online during the pandemic, according to Education, University & Research Minister, Martí March.

He outlined the Digitisation Plan For Schools in the Balearic Islands at a press conference with the Director General of Early Childhood, Innovation & Educational Community, Amanda Fernández and Team Coordinator IBSTEAM, Yolanda Martínez.

"Digitisation is not an alternative to face-to-face teaching, it is an increasingly necessary aid for effective learning that responds to the challenges of the 21st century,” stressed Minister March.

He also admitted that the State of Emergency and the consequent closure of schools earlier this year made it clear that new measures were necessary.

"It was evident that we needed a new plan for the school in the 21st century,” he said. “Centres, teachers, families and the Education Department have all learned something from the need to teach curricular content from a distance, often with inadequate means.”

Between September and October online training will be provided for 5,000 teachers and schools will have a digital section for blended learning and online teaching, with an up-to-date high-speed connection and Wi-Fi.

Minister March stressed that the Digital Competence Promotion Team had to react very quickly to unforeseen needs at the end of last term and said communication is being strengthened through social media networks and the commitment to digitalisation.

The 2020/2021 academic year begins with 4,523 digital classrooms in public schools. 277 of them are brand new and cost 540,000 euros.

The Government, the Ministry of Education and red.es have struck an agreement to supply 291 public schools and 6 subsidised schools in the Balearic Islands with ultra-fast broadband and updated WIFI coverage.

It's costing 5.6 million euros and 3.5 million euros of the money is being contributed by the State and 2 million euros by the Government.