Some 125 schools in Sligo and Leitrim will receive a total of €710,000 funding for computer equipment a Fine Gael TD for Sligo Leitrim has said. The grant, which will be received by all schools built prior to 2014, is worth in excess of €4,100 for a 100 pupil school and almost €13,000 for a 500 pupil school at primary level.
At post-primary level, the grant is worth almost €18,000 for a 500 student school, and over €33,000 for a 1,000 student school.
Deputy Tony McLoughlin said: “72 primary and post primary schools in Sligo will receive a total of €473,000 funding for computer equipment and 43 schools in Leitrim will receive €250,000.
“The funding can be spent on desktop PCs, laptops, tablets or hybrid devices. Schools can also purchase projectors and cloud based tools and software applications to support learning.
“I know this will make a huge difference to school communities at both primary and secondary level across Sligo and Leitrim and will help equip children and teenagers with the skills they need for the future.
“Digital technology can transform the way people learn, encouraging curiosity, exploration and creative thinking. These are the capabilities our young people will need in the future.
“Critical, creative thinking, problem solving skills and adaptability will be key to flourishing in this environment and we need to make sure our young people are well prepared."
“Our Digital Strategy for Schools sets out a clear vision that is focussed on realising the potential of digital technologies to transform the learning experiences of students. While we are introducing coding and computer science into the curriculum, we must also invest in the ICT infrastructure of our schools.
Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, said: “The €30million in funding to issue to schools over the coming weeks represents the second release of that funding, and together with the other supports being made available to schools – the Digital Learning Framework and Digital Learning Planning Resource – will enable schools to fully embrace that vision.
“We are exploring the possibility of top slicing some of the remaining funding from the €210m to target schools who undertake to engage with innovative practice and cost effective networks of delivery in future years. I will ask my Digital Implementation Group to consider and advise on this further over the coming months.
“We also want to encourage and support real innovation in teaching, learning and assessment, and schools working together to achieve those aims. The Schools Excellence Fund is a vehicle to enable this, and the recently announced Schools Excellence Fund – Digital programme, also with funding for schools, is one of the Government’s further initiatives in the area.”