Germany to spend €5bil on digital infrastructure for schools


  • TECH
  • Thursday, 13 Oct 2016

German Chancellor Angela Merkel signs autographs as she visits the French secondary school Lycee Francais in Berlin, Germany, May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke /Files

BERLIN: Germany plans to invest an extra 5bil (RM23.21bil) over the next five years to equip more than 40,000 schools and colleges with faster internet, wireless access points and tablet computers, the Education Minister said. 

The investment plan, which still needs to be agreed by Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet, is another sign that Germany is more willing to meet international calls to spend its record budget surplus on infrastructure and education. 

"We have to make a big leap forward to improve digital education," Johanna Wanka said, adding that the government would make the money available for the 16 federal states that are traditionally in charge of education in Germany. 

German schoolchildren have only scored mediocre results in international education studies in the past years, although some evaluations show that they are slowly catching up. 

A survey on digital education in Germany has found that less than 2% of pupils have daily access to a school computer. 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have for years urged Germany to step up public and private investment to boost domestic demand and reduce its massive current account surplus. 

Close allies such as France and the United States have also called for Germans to open their wallets, and the government has reacted by increasing its spending on infrastructure and accommodating and integrating a record influx of refugees. 

Critics say Germany could do much more like taking advantage of record-low borrowing costs to take on new debt and ditching the balanced budget policy championed by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. 

In another potential boost for domestic demand, the cabinet agreed on Oct 12 on Schaeuble's proposal to cut income taxes by €6.3bil (RM29.27bil) in 2017 and 2018. 

The plan, which was already announced by Schaeuble and Merkel last week, aims to correct "cold progression" or bracket creep in the tax system. 

Thresholds in Germany's progressive tax system are not automatically adjusted for inflation. This means that workers who get a pay rise can find themselves ending up with a net pay cut. — Reuters

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In Tech News

Elon Musk and Twitter dig for evidence as trial looms
Elon Musk seeks to narrow SEC consent decree, end pre-approval of tweets
Tencent’s China Literature ends Kindle-like ereader service as Big Tech firms pull back on unprofitable businesses
Elon Musk asks appeals court to end his 'Twitter sitter' deal
Shenzhen aims to become global esports hub by promising cash rewards, subsidies to gamers
Netflix sets up�first internal studio to develop�video games
Nanomaterial found to reduce cancer stem cells in rats, Chinese study finds
Podcasters are buying millions of listeners through mobile-game ads
Cyber warfare rife in Ukraine, but impact stays in shadows
You can now disable PayDirect on your Touch ‘n Go ewallet

Others Also Read