Education Ministry: Edunet_SK to Give Schools Virtual Private Network

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The Education, Science, Research and Sport Ministry building.

Bratislava, February 3 (TASR) – Edunet_SK doesn’t entail buying internet connection for schools; rather, the project will provide schools with a virtual private network (VPN) enabling connection even to the Education, Science, Research and Sport Ministry data centre, ministry spokesperson Beata Dupalova Ksenzsighova said Wednesday.

Such a network architecture is commonplace in banks and companies with many branches that handle delicate data, she added.

Dupalova Ksenzsighova was responding to a call by the Fair-play Alliance NGO and the slovensko.digital platform earlier in the day to postpone and revise procurements concerning four large IT projects that should swallow up almost €300 million in total, expressing concern that overpriced solutions might ensue. The ministry’s Edunet_SK project is one of the contracts seen as problematic by the NGOs.

The VPN will make it possible to better shield tests from security breaches, said Dupalova Ksenzsighova.

“At the same time, any (unathorised) access to any personal data of pupils and teachers will be impossible,” she added.

Currently within the Infovek 2 (Infoage) 2 project, the ministry pays €155 excluding VAT per month for 12 Mbps broadband internet connections to a school. The Edunet_SK will increase the speed up to 200 Mbps while setting the ministry back for a monthly charge of €150 per school.

The final total cost is to be dependent on the number of schools involved and the extent of provided services. If all 7,000 or so schools in Slovakia take part, and if they receive the widest possible scope of services during the period of 48 months, the estimated cost would be €67.5 million excluding VAT, said the spokesperson.