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Belgium > The Current Curriculum Context for ICT Belgium > The Current Curriculum Context for ICT

The ICT curriculum provides the general framework ICT in Flemish schools. However, in line with the autonomy outlined above, each ESN, or individual school, can decide for themselves how these competencies are taught and, fundamentally, what the principles of a digital 'pedagogy' might be.

Generally, ICT competencies are taught through the daily classroom activities. A set of cross-curricular 'final' and 'developmental' ICT objectives were implemented across all schools in September 2007. These objectives were seen as challenging. Therefore, the Flemish Government has developed a five-point implementation policy to help support the education system, as a whole, in their use of ICT. The five points are to:

  • Strengthen the policy-making capacities of educational establishments at institutional level;
  • Promote the professionalism of educational staff;
  • Provide a high-quality infrastructure;
  • Develop a suitable teaching aid policy;
  • Research and ICT monitoring.

Within the curriculum itself, ICT is a separate subject in secondary education but not in primary education. The ICT-related cross-curricular final objectives and developmental objectives (referred to above) are designed to be employed in primary education and/or the first level of secondary education. This cross-curricular dimension is important. The aim is not to create a separate 'subject' at primary level. Rather, ICT is seen as providing opportunities within all subjects and fields of study. The individual class teacher is responsible for examining each pupil in light of these objectives.
In secondary education these skills are included in the cross-curricular themes:

  • Learning to learn;
  • Social skills;
  • Citizenship;
  • Health education;
  • Environmental education;
  • Expressive-creative education;
  • Technical/technological education.

Changes to the cross-curricular part of the core curriculum, with a particular focus on key competencies, will be introduced in 2010. Schools decide themselves how to achieve the cross-curricular objectives; there are no guidelines or models from the Ministry. Similarly, there is no assessment of these skills, although the inspectorate ensures that sufficient efforts are made by the school in order to fulfil the cross-curricular objectives during school audits (OECD, 2010, p24).

At the second level of secondary education, ICT becomes a more specific set of components and does, in the traditional sense, become an individual subject.