Primary and secondary schools across Clare will share just over €1.24 million in ICT funding as part of a €50 million nationwide investment, local Fine Gael TD Joe Carey confirmed this morning.

Deputy Carey was speaking as Education Minister Norma Foley announced that €50 million in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Grants for primary and post-primary schools will be paid in early December, 2020.

Of this, €672,893 will be invested in primary schools across Clare. A further €547,885 will go towards post-primary schools in the county.

Deputy Carey said: “I welcome the total investment of €1,247,778 in schools across Clare which will allow schools to put in place robust systems to enable the use of digital technologies within the school, and also provide for remote learning.

The Clarecastle-based TD said the funding can be used to purchase digital devices to loan to students and teachers, software, essential learning platforms and other ICT solutions as determined by the needs of the individual school.

He added the funding will be paid automatically to “every recognised school in the country”.

Education Minister Norma Foley said the overall €50 million payments includes €40 million ICT Grant funding issued to all eligible schools in line with previous years, to support the embedding of the use of digital technologies in teaching and learning.

A further €10m is to be invested in measures to provide for the continuity of teaching and learning using digital technology. The Department’s capital budget was increased in 2020 to facilitate the payment of these grants in December 2020.  

Minister Foley said: “There is little doubt that the potential and importance of digital learning and the use of digital technologies has come into sharper focus in light of recent experiences. Digital learning is an essential component of a modern curriculum, and this funding will help schools to equip their students with the skills and competencies they will need to thrive. 

“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. I am delighted to announce this funding today to assist schools to support their digital technology programmes, as well as broader teaching and learning.”