As of the next school year, the image of schools will change completely, and classrooms will enter the digital age. Something like that seems impossible at a time when teachers fill in student records by hand, wasting dozens of hours.
However, after the approval of the European Commission, a fund to the amount of 146,635,815 euro coming from the European Regional Development Fund will enter classrooms. According to representatives of the Ministry of Education, the purpose of the new programme is the digital renewal of educational processes in both primary and secondary education.
"The purpose of the digital school is the introduction of ICT in education and its pedagogical utilization, and this will lead to innovation in both teaching and learning," said Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos.
According to To Vima newspaper, the delivery and installation of 36,804 interactive systems (interactive boards) has already begun, as well as of another 11,426 mobile Informatics laboratories in primary schools, junior high schools and secondary schools.
Each of them consists of 10 laptops for each elementary school and 15 laptops for other schools. Interactive whiteboards will be installed with a priority in primary schools first, then in junior high schools and high schools across the country.
In parallel, during the new school year three mobile Informatics laboratories will be installed in each school.
In numbers, the new programme affects 200,357 students in primary schools, 315,742 students in secondary schools, 223,187 students in secondary schools and 86,177 students in vocational schools and colleges across the country, even in the farthest corners of Greece.
Interactive books and photo trees
Interactive textbooks will contain photos, maps and exercises. Details on their use can be seen on the site of the Ministry of Education.
According to representatives of the Ministry of Education, "photo trees" (or in other words, the "hard drive" of the digital content) represent the central electronic service of the Ministry for digital educational materials for schools. It is available for all students, teachers, and parents, as well as for all interested.
The subcategory "teaching aids" has a collection of about 3,500 aids (experiments, interactive simulations, surveys, images, educational games, 3D charters, exercises, etc.) from enriched interactive textbooks. The subcategory "educational videos" includes about 700 uploaded short videos suitable for use in educational activities.
The "yard" of the Digital School is an educational "e-me" platform which has been established by the Ministry and a digital space is open to all members of the educational community. It refers to the highest grades in elementary school and to all secondary school grades.
What do teachers fill in by hand?
1. Personal records of students – with personal data which is copied from last year's certificates, as well as grades from each quarter.
2. A register of students, which is written at the beginning of each school year with data of students, and, at the end of the year, students’ grades are also filled in. The procedure lasts for days.
3. Certificates of students: all students’ data and their average grade.
4. An index of students: the names of all newly registered every year - that is, first graders and new students from the other classes.
5. Books of absences: each week, teachers receive information about absentees and enter them in a special book. Excused and unexcused absences are separated each quarter in order to be calculated and entered in the personal records.
6. Protocol: for everything happening in the school –excursions, other initiatives, educational programmes and cultural activities.
7. Book of graduates: graduates are recorded at the end of each year, with their data and the data of their guardians.
8. Minutes of correspondence: All received and issued documents.
9. A book of the School Director: all dates of the year are described and sentences such as "the school is functioning without disturbances" or "today, the school is celebrating 28 October" or "today we went on a trip" are written next to each date.