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Digital education at the heart of the new school year in Neuchâtel

Crystel Graf, State Councilor from Neuchâtel, unveiled the teaching resources available for digital education.

Photo: KEYSTONE/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT

On Monday, 19,586 Neuchâtel pupils from compulsory school, including 193 Ukrainians, return to school. Digital education is happening. More than 600 teachers have been trained.

“Digital education is a social issue,” Crystel Graf, State Councilor in charge of education, told Cernier (NE) on Thursday. It ‘is not going to consist of only putting students behind a screen because there will be a lot of unplugged activities, especially for the small classes and prevention’, she added.

Grade 7 students will have an extra hour on the timetable. In the 1st, 2nd and 3rd year classes, digital education will be done through a transversal approach.

The infrastructure had to be adapted. In terms of equipment, a fixed or portable computer is made available for four pupils in 7-8th years, whereas six schoolchildren must currently share one. New teaching methods have also been introduced.

No shortage of teachers

The number of pupils in compulsory school will increase by 202 at the start of the school year, but this figure would have remained stable without the contribution of the 193 Ukrainians, declared Jean-Claude Marguet, head of the compulsory education service. There are also 40 Ukrainian children in first reception classes in Couvet and La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Unlike other cantons, German-speaking in particular, Neuchâtel does not suffer from a shortage of teachers, even if the market remains “relatively tense”, explained Jean-Claude Marguet. ‘We had anticipated in the early 2000s a possible shortage and we had increased the number of students in the High School of Education (HEP)’, he added. The number of Neuchâtel graduates rose to 70 in 2022.

/ATS

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