Galway schools are being urged to apply for funding to buy information-technology equipment under a new €30-million infrastructure grant scheme introduced by the Government this week.
Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton said that substantial resources would be made available to both primary and post-primary schools this year for investment in ICT infrastructure.
The funding will support the development and implementation of an eLearning Plan for each school to embed ICT in teaching and learning; and can be used to purchase items such as computers, projectors, interactive flat screens, and cloud-based applications.
Deputy Naughton, who is a qualified primary-school teacher, said schools in Galway should be encouraged to prepare applications for funding under the new scheme as soon as possible.
“The classroom is a rapidly changing environment, in which computer science and technology play an increasingly important role,” she said.
“Digital technology is revolutionising careers and it is vital that our education system keeps pace with that revolution by ensuring that students are adequately equipped in the area of ICT.”
The funding scheme is part of the Government’s €210-million Digital Strategy for Schools, and marks the beginning of its implementation. Coding and computer science will also be incorporated in the curriculum as part of the plan.
“This is an important opportunity to harness the potential of digital technologies to transform and improve the learning experiences of students in schools,” added Deputy Naughton.
“I would encourage both primary schools and post-primary schools in Galway to avail of that opportunity by applying for grant funding under this scheme to ensure that their pupils share the benefit of the strategy.”
The grant will typically be worth approximately €15,000 to a post-primary school with 500 pupils, and over €27,000 for a post-primary school with an enrolment of 1,000 pupils.
A primary school with 100 pupils can expect to receive funding of approximately €4,000 under the scheme, while a primary school with 500 pupils will receive up to €11,000.
Advice and support for schools will be available on the website www.pdsttechnology ineducation.ie; while a circular with details of the application process will be issued to schools.