Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan has welcomed funding of €653,859 for schools in Kilkenny and Carlow to invest in digital infrastructure to support students who are most at risk of educational disadvantage through the 'digital divide'.
Schools will use this funding for the direct benefit of their students, and can consider innovative projects and programmes using digital technologies in teaching and learning depending on their own digital learning plan and approaches including providing infrastructure such as devices on loan to students, Deputy Phelan confirmed.
The funding, secured as part of a major investment programme for the Department of Education in the Government’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) approved by the European Council, will see 75 primary schools in Kilkenny receive combined funding of €602,911. An additional 16 Kilkenny post primary schools will share €398,344 in funding. In Carlow, 44 primary schools will receive funding totalling €436,631 while a further €255,515 has been granted to 11 post primary schools.
“This funding will help schools prepare children and young people to learn, work and live in a digital world”, Deputy Phelan commented. “It will also assist schools in helping learners at risk of educational disadvantage through the digital divide. We know during the pandemic that, for some students, a lack of infrastructure impeded their ability to engage with remote learning. This digital divide will also impact their capacity to engage fully with digital technology and development of digital skills. This investment will greatly advance the efforts to ensure that technology and infrastructure is in place to support teaching and learning in the classroom across all schools and ensure inclusion of all learners.”
Under the project, funding will be paid directly to all recognised primary and post-primary schools in the free education scheme, to invest in digital infrastructure to support students who are most at risk of educational disadvantage through the digital divide. As part of this measure, schools in the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) programme will receive double the amount of funding provided to non-DEIS schools.
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