In order to provide teaching staff and pupils modern IT for teaching and learning in accordance with the new Swiss curriculum (Lehrplan 21), Birsfelden Primary School made the decision to renew its IT infrastructure. The school’s administrators and the municipality approached Bechtle to be its external consultant and to help them tackle a project of this size and complexity.
Birsfelden School sets great store in a balanced education, relationships built on respect and promoting its pupils individual talents. Five pre-schools and four primary schools are the cornerstone of successful teaching and learning. 700 children attend the pre and primary schools and are taught by some 120 teaching staff, who only had 18 IT workstations between them. The pupils had 12 notebooks per school at their disposal that had all seen better days. The decision to renew the IT infrastructure was also based on external factors Lehrplan 21 requires the use of ICT as a teaching and learning tool at primary level, but the schools in Birsfelden were poorly equipped and therefore were in desperate need on an infrastructure modernisation. However, neither the school administrators nor the municipality has the the necessary time or expertise for an IT project of this scale, so they began the search for an external partner to take on project management and successfully lead the project from assessing the site to commissioning the new solution. Bechtle Schweiz AG was the obvious choice as the company had already proven its capabilities for the municipality.
The top priority when it came to renewing the IT was to fulfil the requirements laid out in Lehrplan 21, which meant particular attention was paid to the solution’s quality and security. The central element was a Statement of Work which was used to evaluate the future IT service provider. Bechtle was commissioned by the school administration for project management, but not for the technical implementation of the solution. Due to the size of the project, the Statement of Work had to be put together in compliance with the GATT/WTO Agreement, according to which Bechtle was not allowed to implement the technical part itself (although it would have been perfectly able to do so).
Bechtle was on hand supporting Birsfelden School from start to finish, acting as an in-house project manager available to answer any questions as they arose.
The project has resulted in the schools having a comprehensive network, central cloud solution and new devices. That means that there are now 100 new Apple iPads available for lessons and modern devices for the teachers and administrative staff. In total, the schools now have over 500 computers, projects, printers, screens, etc. Devices and data are centrally managed through an optimised cloud solution that also facilitates and standardises collaboration between teachers and pupils. A support and operations organisation takes care of system support and maintenance.
Thanks to Bechtle’s advice and expertise, we saved ourselves a lot of work and were able to finish the project on time and on budget. It’s a good feeling to know that someone is on hand who understands both the IT and our needs.
The new solution fulfils the requirements of “Lehrplan 21”, the canton, school staff and pupils alike. In Bechtle, Birsfelden School had a partner with the necessary expertise and experience to manage the project. The close collaboration from start to finish and the regular communication ensured a high level of trust was established. “Thanks to Bechtle’s advice and expertise, we saved ourselves a lot of work and were able to finish the project on time and on budget,” says Stefan Büchler. The decision to get an external consult on board relieved a lot of the pressure. The challenges presented by Lehrplan 21, the complex technical solution and the provisions of the GATT/WTO should not be underestimated. “The collaboration with Bechtle Steffen gave me the confidence to present the municipality with information that I knew was correct and would hold its own in an emergency,” explains Stefan Büchler.