Concern at lack of commitment for IT in schools

ICT Ireland, the association that represents the high-tech sector in IBEC, have revealed worries over spending commitments in schools.

It followa statement by the Taoiseach Brian Cowan that he was unwilling to make any firm commitment that the €252m, allocated in the National Development Plan for the development of information and communications technology in schools, would be spent.

Speaking today in the Dáil, the Taoiseach had admitted that the roll-out of technology in the classroom may not go ahead.

In response, Kathryn Raleigh, the Director of ICT Ireland, said: “Technology in Irish schools has been grossly under-funded for years and this has left Irish students at a major disadvantage compared to many of their European counterparts.

"Failure to invest immediately will leave our students at a disadvantage compared to students in other countries.

"When it comes to education, it just does not make sense to save our way through a downturn. Now is the time to make those strategic investment decisions if we are to have the skills needed to bring our economy to the next level.

"Government has for too long failed to make adequate financial commitments and back up stated policy objectives with the necessary funding. The future success of the Irish economy relies heavily on our ability to keep and attract high-tech industries. This cannot be achieved unless we invest in technology in schools."

Ms Raleigh called for a firm commitment of funding from Government to ensure that Ireland will achieve its goal of being a leading knowledge economy.

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