Primary and post-primary schools will receive ICT infrastructure grants.
Tipperary primary and post-primary schools are set to benefit from €30million investment in ICT infrastructure grants.
The investment marks the start of the implementation of the government’s €210 Million Digital Strategy for Schools.
Announcing the Digital Strategy ICT Infrastructure Grant for 2016/2017, Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D, said he is pleased to confirm that the grant is worth approximately €4,000 for a 100 pupil school and approximately €11,000 for a 500 pupil school at primary level. At post-primary level, the Minister said that the grant is worth circa €15,000 for a 500 student school, and over €27,000 for a 1,000 student school.
The funding will support the development and implementation of an eLearning Plan for each school to embed ICT in teaching and learning.
Some examples of the infrastructure that schools can purchase with this funding are teaching computers/ shared student computers; projectors including short throw or ultra-short throw, long throw, interactive, or interactive flat screens (IFS); cloud based tools and applications to support learning; and learning platforms to support the teaching and learning process.
“The investment of €1,199,326 in Tipperary schools is of course welcomed,” commented local TD Mattie McGrath.
However, Deputy McGrath underlined “broader challenges that still remain with respect to school building infrastructure or the urgent need to re-designate certain schools as DEIS schools”.
He continued: “Many schools in rural areas will be feeling the effect of low speed broadband and other connectivity issues, so those issues must also be addressed if we are talking about increasing ICT capacity”.
He added: “[The investment] will go some way toward addressing the needs that exist, but we should not let it blind us to the massive problems that many schools are still facing in terms of staffing and resource hours for Special Needs Assistants.
“Those are the kind of issues that are of far more concern to parents and that must be prioritised without delay.”