Quinn launches school broadband scheme

High speed broadband will be installed in more than 200 secondary schools by the end of the year, ministers vowed.

The second stage of a national roll-out will result in 216 schools in Dublin, Meath and Kildare having the business class service, with the final 250 to be connected in 2014.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said despite Ireland’s current economic difficulties, the investment in driving schools forward into the digital age was money well spent.

“The internet is providing learners with the possibility of learning at any time and in any place,” said Mr Quinn.

“Accessing education through mixed media delivers a richer educational experience.

“Applying technology in the right way can make education not just more engaging – but more appealing – so the students and teachers get more from it.”

He committed to the integration of ICT/digital technology in teaching and learning across the curriculum, including as part of the new junior certificate from September 2014.

Launching the latest stage at the Presentation Secondary School in Warrenmount, Dublin, Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte said it was the beginning of a technical revolution that will fundamentally change the way future generations will access educational resources.

“By bringing 100Mbps uncontended connectivity directly to the premises many students will now have vastly enhanced access to new and innovate educational tools,” he said.

“This is a completely different standard of connection to domestic broadband and will allow multiple applications to be accessed by students right across the school.

“This is an important investment in Ireland’s competitiveness.

“From now on these schools will mirror the workplaces of tomorrow. These students will therefore be much better prepared for the digital economy when they seek work.”

Another 202 schools in 14 counties in the west and midlands have been benefiting from the high speed service since last year.

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