Limerick schools receive boost in ICT funding

Schools in Limerick will receive a total of €2.1 million in grant funding for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) next month.

Across Limerick, 142 Primary Schools will just shy of €1.1 million and 28 Post-Primary Schools will receive over €1 million.

This funding comes as part of €50 million in grants announced by Education Minister, Norma Foley for primary and post-primary schools across Ireland.

Minister Foley said: “This year’s extended period of school closure has served to underscore the immense value of education and its power in our children and young people’s lives. Investment in education is one of this government’s top priorities.”

These grants will be automatically paid to all publicly funded schools during the first week in December – to help aid schools digital technology and remote learning as a Covid-19 contingency precaution.

Fine Gael Councillor for Limerick City North, Olivia O’Sullivan said: “These funds are hugely important for schools across Limerick city and county. This has been an immensely challenging year for schools, the pandemic has underlined the necessity for further use of digital technologies in all schools, primary and post-primary.”

She continued: “Schools have really risen to the challenge this year; no principal could ever have anticipated the hurdles they would face in 2020. Reopening schools was essential for our society and they have been the bedrock for many households, keeping life as normal as possible for children and young people in abnormal times. The social aspect of school has been as important for children as the education schools provide.”

€40 million of ICT grant funding will be issued to support the embedding of the use of digital technologies in teaching and learning.

A further €10 million will be provided for the continuity of teaching and learning using digital technology as a Covid-19 -specific measure.

Schools that were opened before 2017 will qualify for all funding, including both the €40 million fund and the €10 million top-up funding.

Schools opened since 2017 may receive grants from the top-up funding only.

Fee-paying schools will receive funding at 50 per cent of the rate of normal schools from the €40 million fund only.

Ms O’Sullivan added: “I know schools have worked very hard to accommodate students who would be particularly vulnerable during this time, such as children with Cystic Fibrosis or autoimmune issues or any disability that would deem them at high risk. Depending on the age of the child, remote learning can be very effective if necessary, and we need to support schools to develop this.”

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