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428 primary and post-primary schools across Cork County will receive over €3.4 million for investment in ICT infrastructure and equipment says Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton. The funding announced by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD is part of a national funding package of €30 million to enhance digital education facilities in all schools including special schools.

“The grant is worth in excess of €4,100 per 100 pupil school and almost €13,000 per 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. It is important to note that the grant will be paid to schools built prior to 2014 only, as schools built after this date will have received ICT funding when they were being set up”, explained Minister Stanton.

The specific rates payable are €2,000 per school plus €21.47 per mainstream pupil in primary schools, with additional per capita payments for pupils in DEIS schools, Special Classes and Special Schools. At post-primary level, the rates payable are €2,000 per school plus €31.22 per student, with an additional per capita payment for students in DEIS schools.

Minister Stanton continued: “This ICT grant will help support primary and secondary schools with the development of Digital Learning Plans which provide for the integration of new technologies in teaching. 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.

“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. Digital technology can transform the way people learn, encouraging curiosity, exploration and creative thinking all of which are capabilities our young people will need in the future. Critical thinking, problem solving skills and adaptability will be essential to flourishing in a modern educational and employment environment and we need to make sure our young people are well prepared.

“This investment, coinciding with Internet Safety Week, is the second instalment of a total €210 million investment in ICT infrastructure in schools and fulfils a Government commitment in the Action Plan for Education. This funding is in tandem with the development of the Digital Learning Framework and Digital Learning Planning Resource and the Schools Excellence Fund – Digital. We are also expanding on ICT education choices in the curriculum through the introduction of coding and computer science”.