The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh has today announced a special €10 million fund to support the purchase of technology and devices for disadvantaged students.
Special fund announced to buy technology for disadvantaged students
A total of €7 million in extra funding will be given to secondary schools and €3 million for primary schools. Speaking about the fund Minister McHugh said “Providing €10 million for schools now to buy devices like laptops is going to be a huge help to students and teachers as part of our response to COVID-19.”
“Schools are being asked to prioritise exam classes, and then to look at where else access to technology is most needed. I am confident this will make a real difference to thousands of students and provide the technology they need to be able to access online supports.”
Zero-rated sites to give students free access to information
The Department is also working with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment and telecoms companies through Ibec, a lobbying group for Irish businesses, to make a number of websites that students will need to study “zero-rated”. Zero-rated means that students would be able to access these sites without using their data.
Minister McHugh added: “At this time it is imperative we go further as a society to support more vulnerable young people. By redirecting funding we are focusing our attention on where it is needed, with a priority on Leaving Certificate students. Combined with an emphasis on wellbeing, this funding will help to give students the tools they need to succeed.”