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Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)
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ICT in Schools

In January 2006 all state schools from the 1st to the 12th years had broadband Internet connections, with the exception of a small number of those that would cease operating in summer 2006. A year before only 18% had a broadband connection.

It was therefore possible to make good the lag that had accumulated after Portugal had become one of the first countries to provide all schools with RDIS connections in 2001 and after all schools from the 5th to 12th year had been provided with a connection in 1997. In the same year, Portugal became one of the first countries to include schools in the research and higher education computing network by setting up the RCTS - Science Technology and Society Network with the objective of providing an integrated research and education network.

The broadband connection of schools to the Internet was assured by the Foundation for National Scientific Computing (FCCN), with the related costs being supported by the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) for the schools of the 1st cycle of Basic education (1st to 4th grade) and by the Ministry of Education for the other schools (5th to 12th grade).

See the geographic location of the schools on Google Earth (site in Portuguese) >>
(if you would like to see the geographic location of all schools of one kind or more, place the cursor in the
“Search school by:” window, do not write anything and press “Enter”. Then select the type(s) of school you want to see)

A Programme – Internet@EB1 – coordinated by FCCN - Foundation for National Scientific Computing was approved at the start of 2002 for assuring the engagement of Higher Education Schools from polytechnic institutes with schools of the 1st cycle of basic education, with the aim to promote and facilitate Internet use for educational purposes in these schools and to promote teacher training in specific educational situations. More than 160,000 basic IT skills diplomas were awarded and more than 7,500 schools created their websites in the scope of this programme. The Programme was followed by a similar program in 2005/06 – CBTIC@EB1 – in the scope of the CRIE – Computers, Networks and Internet at School Mission Team, now with broader activities in ICT and including activities in the different 1st cycle curricular areas. This program was co-funded by the Knowledge Society Operational Programme which operated with budgetary and administrative support of the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC). More than 11,000 activities of creation of electronic portfolios, more than 11,600 new school websites and 5,400 collaboration projects were assured within this project. In the 2005/06 academic year alone, the programme involved 18 higher education institutions, 18 virtual resource centres, 6,583 schools (89% of all 1st cycle schools), 17,417 teachers, 967 monitors, 175,111 students, 27,517 visits of Higher Education Institutions teams to 1st cycle basic education schools lasting a total of 137,000 hours, more than 71,274 basic IT skills diplomas awarded, of which more than 3/4 were to students in the 4th year of schooling and 2,207 to teachers.

Also in 2005/06, CRIE promoted the training of teachers trainers on ICT, which involved 573 participants, 228 training entities, 34 training actions, 18 ICT Competence Centres with the collaborative platform Moodle, and also provided the training of 15,109 teachers, in 175 projects, and the dissemination of the collaborative platform Moodle use to 2,094 teachers. Besides, 1,309 ICT rooms were equipped with 19,635 computers in 1,159 schools, and a call for proposals for the production of educational digital content was issued, leading to approval of 256 projects.

In 2006, the Ministry of Education initiative “Schools, Teachers and Laptop Computers” strengthened 1,100 schools with 26,000 laptops for roughly 11,600 teachers and for practical activities with approximately 200,000 students.

Participation in the European Union’s eTwinning programme virtually quadrupled from the beginning of the 2005/06 academic year to the 2006/07 one, with the number of schools registered increasing from 120 to 469 and the number of approved partnerships rising from 29 to 140. Furthermore, the number of schools certified for the European Network of Innovative Schools doubled, rising from 25 to 51.

Also in 2006, Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC), together with CRIE (site in Portuguese) and the Critical Software company, ran a pilot project on network and service availability in schools, which involved 12 schools and 4 Competence Centres.

The Education Technological Plan was approved in August 2007, with the following objectives:

  • Reach an average of 2 students per computer with an Internet connection (in 2006 there were 9.6 students to a computer);
  • Fit all classrooms with video projectors;
  • Provide all schools with Internet access of at least 48 Mbps;
  • Adopt electronic ID cards for all citizens;
  • Promote the mass use of electronic means of communication, providing all students and teachers with email addresses;
  • Ensure that 90% of teachers and 50% of students have certification for their ICT competences.

In the school year 2008/2009, the number of basic and secondary school students per computer reached 2.1 and per computer with Internet connection reached 2.3, when in 2004/2005 these values were, respectively, 5 and 6 times larger, accounting for an enormous improvement since 2004/2005.

In November 2009, 111,486 new computers, 28,711 videoprojectors and 5,613 interactive schoolboards were provided by the Education Technological Plan to public schools with 2nd or 3rd cycles of basic education or with secondary education.

In October 2010, 75% of the public schools with 2nd or 3rd cycles of basic education or with secondary education had wireless local networks, with Internet access in 100% of its school rooms/teaching spaces.

In May 2011, 100% of the public schools with 2nd or 3rd cycles of basic education or with secondary education had Internet connection in fiber at at least 64 Mbit/s, 65% had videovigilance systems installed, more than 1,700 Digital Educational Resources (DER) were available through the School’s Portal (site in Portuguese), in integration with the European Educational Repositories Network (EdReNe)  that allows the access to almost 40,000 DER, and more than 120 educational blogs of teachers were published in the same portal.

ERTE – Equipa de Recursos e Tecnologias Educativas, Direcção-Geral de Recursos e Tecnologias Educativas (site in Portuguese) >>

Last updated ( 24/10/2011 )