To remedy the persistent inequalities in access to digital public services, the Court recommends that schools, collèges and lycées be provided with a basic digital base.
Investments in digital education have increased significantly between 2013 and 2017: those of the three levels of local authorities represented €2 billion and those of the State nearly €300 million (whereas its initial commitment was announced at €1 billion). This financial effort has remained within the framework of traditional public interventions, based on the financing of individual equipment (for two-thirds of the State's credits), within a logic of calls for projects which has resulted in a policy of a non-selective window.
In order to meet the challenges, the State should have developed a strategy based on a logic of harmonization of equipment, services and digital offers for students according to the educational strata, and focused on its responsibilities: pedagogical transformation and teacher training, securing school data and access to the required level of throughput.
A public service without clear objectives
In the investment programme for the future, priority was given, against the vocation and logic of this programme, to the financing of individual mobile equipment, which transformed an action that was intended to be innovative into a simple "tablet plan". This priority to individual equipment has proved to be an outdated and unnecessarily costly policy.
Absorbing too many resources, particularly in the budgets of local and regional authorities, it has compromised investment in infrastructure and networks.
The public service of digital education, like the entire public service of education, is part of the division of powers between the State and local authorities, provided for in the decentralization laws. The establishment of this new public service should therefore have been a co-construction between the State, responsible for teaching, curricula and pedagogy, and the local authorities, responsible for buildings, equipment and logistical services.
The initiatives of local authorities continue to make digital development part of the school landscape without an overall national framework: this or that large region announces its decision to equip all of its high school students with mobile equipment, and some departments do the same for their middle school students, despite the rate of private equipment among young people.
Several long-term structuring factors have priority: teacher training, by reintroducing certification of teachers' digital skills; securing school data, especially the personal data of pupils and staff; creating a single portal for educational resources; access by schools to appropriate levels of throughput, by mobilizing funding from the current
investment programme for the future.
The appropriation by the teaching world of these new tools and methods is essential: six years after the vote on the law, what is expected of teachers in terms of digital uses remains vague.
Provide all schools and educational establishments with a basic digital base