The national „Digitálne učivo na dosah“ project, also simply referred to as EDUcentre, delivers access to digital educational content and other departmental services at guaranteed speeds and with free technical service and heightened levels of security. The first portion of the project received €4.8 million in financing from Operational Programme Informatization of Society and the second portion of the project was financed with €24.4 million from Operational Programme Integrated Infrastructure.
The project was initiated by the former Minister of Education and digital leader Peter Pellegrini. The Ministry of Education, Research, Science and Sport of the Slovak Republic is the beneficiary of this support in partnership with the Government Office of the Slovak Republic. The objective is to create and provide eGov services that enable every school involved in the project to use guaranteed access to the digital educational content of the education department and other departments and high speed Internet using the newly constructed optical network.
More than 200 kindergarten, primary school and secondary school facilities in the Banská Bystrica, Banská Štiavnica, Snina, Spišská Nová Ves and Trnava districts were selected to receive the installation of professional Wi-Fi access points at the school premises to enable students to use their own devices when working at school and to conveniently use a safe Internet space.
Access to the Internet itself is regulated based on the appropriateness of content for individual users, with access to illegal or unsuitable content blocked for specific groups of users. Access is based on registration, authentication and subsequent authorisation of access. The entire process of establishing the EDUcentre is driven by the motivation of schools to provide their pupils with digital education content and to make the teaching process more attractive.
The project is free of charge for the participating educational facilities and makes no additional demands on them, either in terms of finances or human resources. Conversely, the project aims to save the time of educators and fundamentally improve the conditions for their work with digital content, which will undoubtedly be used more and more in the educational process moving forward.
In addition to development and improving local infrastructure in the individual locations, the excavation work, earthworks and construction work itself created several hundred temporary jobs. The Ministry of Education and the Government Office view the preparation of the project and at least the first five years of operation thereafter as a pilot project with individual phases and outcomes to be continuously monitored, evaluated and used as the foundation for preparation of subsequent projects in the education department going forward.