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Germany plans €5 billion investment in school and college internet

Germany's education department plans to invest €5 billion over the next five years to provide faster internet connections, WiFi and tablet computers to schools and colleges.

The government will make the money available to the country's federal states, which are responsible for education, education minister Johanna Wanka said (link in German).

"I want to make the schools in Germany fit for the digital world," said Wanka.

"We need a digital pact between the federal and state governments. Together [we] can give schools the right tools for education in the 21st century. This will not only improve the equality of opportunity for the young generation, but also secure the innovativeness and competitiveness of our country," she said.

Germany's Basic Law allows the state and federal governments to cooperate in this way in the "field of information technology", Wanka said.

A recent survey showed that nine out of ten Germans support the need for more IT education in schools.

Technology expert Joanne McIntosh of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: "In the UK, we equally need to recognise the importance of investing in IT for our schools and colleges. Today many students, even from a young age, are used to using technology in their everyday lives. Their school experience shouldn’t lag behind this if we want to make sure our students get the most out of their learning experience and receive the support they need to live, work and indeed excel in a digital age."

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