Curricula

To prepare children and young people for life in a digital society, media literacy and knowledge of information and multimedia tools are of vital importance.

Compulsory education

These skills were officially integrated into the regional curricula which resulted from the Intercantonal Agreement on Harmonisation of Compulsory Education (HarmoS Agreement) of 14 June 2007. Media literacy aims at empowering each pupil to be able to understand and use media, to benefit from and to protect himself/herself against them. To that end, media literacy deals with social issues such as image rights, authors’ rights, the boundaries between private and public life, the development of a critical spirit, etc.

In German-speaking Switzerland and in the Ticino, school curricula also comprise computing lessons which teach pupils technical knowledge and the basic principles used in the automated processing of information. Their aim is to introduce pupils to the basics of coding and algorithmic language so as to provide them with a solid base to develop in our society.

Media and ICT are becoming an integral part of all school subjects. As these skills pervade all curricula and all language regions they are connected with all other school subjects. The extent to which media and ICT have been incorporated into teaching depends on the material available and the cantonal regulations.

German-speaking Switzerland
The Conference of educational ministers in German-speaking Switzerland (D-EDK) adopted their curriculum, Lehrplan 21 (LP21), in October 2014. The LP21 consists of school subjects and modules with interdisciplinary tasks, including «media and computer science» skills. The 21 affected cantons have decided upon a gradual introduction of curricula based on LP21. The cantons of Basel-Landschaft and Basel-Stadt were the first to start implementing LP21 at the beginning of the 2015/2016 school year. The other cantons plan a gradual introduction from 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.
German-speaking curriculum on ICT

French-speaking Switzerland
The curriculum for the French-speaking language area, Plan d’études romand (PER), is issued by the Intercantonal Conference of Educational Ministers of the Western Swiss Cantons and Ticino (CIIP). It was introduced gradually from the beginning of the 2011/2012 school year to 2014/2015. It places interdisciplinary skills and general education courses, including «Media and ICT (MITIC)», on the same level as traditional school subjects. The arrangements for implementing MITIC into the curriculum are determined by the individual cantons concerned.
French-speaking curriculum on ICT

Italian-speaking Switzerland (Ticino)
The current curriculum of the Canton of Ticino (Piano di studio) was published in September 2015. The canton plans a gradual introduction over a period of three years, beginning with the 2015/2016 school year. Like the PER, the Ticino curriculum is based on three pillars: school subjects, interdisciplinary skills and general education courses, including «Technologies and media».
Italian-speaking curriculum on ICT

Upper-secondary education

Upper-secondary education comprises general education (upper-secondary specialised schools and baccalaureate schools) and vocational education and training (VET) programmes (Federal VET Certificates, Federal VET Diplomas, and Federal Vocational Baccalaureate).

General education
While responsibility for general education is shared between the Confederation and the cantons, strategic oversight and implementation are the responsibility of the cantons. The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) is responsible for the framework curriculum.

Computer sciences and skills in media and information and communication technologies (ICT) are becoming increasingly important in most fields of study. For the time being, this discipline is still a voluntary option for interested pupils. Informatics will become compulsory on upper-secondary level at the latest by school start 2022/2023. The idea is to give pupils a vast initial training in informatics and guarantee their aptitude for universitiy studies.

Vocational Education and Training
The Confederation is responsible for strategic oversight and regulation. Implementation is the responsibility of the cantons, while the Confederation is responsible for the framework curricula.

Depending on the programme they can be treated as a separate subject, as complementary subjects, or as an instrument for interdisciplinary integration in school lessons. Cantons and schools issue their own curricula based on the relevant framework curriculum. A decentralised structure allows for differences between individual education programmes and regions.

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Last update of this page: 19.12.2017

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