Minister of State Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD has welcomed an announcement from Education Minister, Richard Bruton regarding investment in ICT equipment for local primary and secondary schools.
Schools will receive grants of up to €33,000 to purchase equipment which will enable them to integrate digital technology in teaching and learning. In Westmeath, local primary schools will get almost €390,000 while post-primary will receive a total of almost €262,000.
The grant, which will be received by all schools built after 2014, is allocated according to the size of the school plus a standard lump sum amount. This means that at primary level, a 100 pupil school will receive €4,100 and a 500 pupil school will get €13,000. At post-primary level, the Minister has said that the grant is worth almost €18,000 for a 500 student school, and €33,000 for a 1,000 student school.
“This is excellent news for local schools as it reminds us how vitally important technology is to the education of our young people,” said Minister Moran. “We also want to encourage and support real innovation in teaching, learning and assessment, and schools working together to achieve those aims.”
All schools nationwide are supported in having a Digital Learning Plan in place, which details the integration of new technologies in the teaching and learning activities of the school. It is expected that the infrastructure purchased with this grant will align with the objectives set out in a school’s Digital Learning Plan.
Desktop PCs, laptops, tablets or hybrid devices, projectors, cloud-based tools and software applications to support learning are all examples of what this grant can go towards.
Today’s investment is the second installment of the €210m the Government have committed to investing in ICT infrastructure for schools and fulfils a commitment in the Action Plan for Education, which aims to make the Irish education system the best in Europe by 2026.