OVER €5 million in funding is to be provided to Cork primary and secondary schools to help them tackle the digital divide in Irish schools.
354 primary schools and 81 post-primary schools in Cork are set to benefit overall as they will receive a total amount of €5,290,613. The grant will be paid directly to primary and post-primary schools in the free education scheme.
The financial package is part of a total of fifty million euros of funding to be provided to schools nationwide to address the digital divide, the Minister for Education Norma Foley has announced.
As part of Ireland's National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), the money will go towards the first of two major ICT projects supporting primary and post-primary schools.
Schools will be required to use the funding on projects and programmes using digital technologies in teaching and learning and approaches including providing infrastructure such as devices on loan to students.
Ms Foley said:
"All of our children and young people must be prepared to learn, work and live in a digital world.
"This scheme builds on existing funding commitments from national funds and will provide for advances in the two important areas of enhanced digital infrastructure for schools and addressing learners at risk of educational disadvantage through the digital divide by providing funding to schools,” she said.
Minister Foley continued:
“School communities made incredible strides in digital teaching and learning during the pandemic.
"An enormous effort was made by teachers and students, and a huge amount has been learned.
This digital divide will also impact their capacity to engage fully with digital technology and development of digital skills."
"The enhanced investment under the NRRP 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,” she added.