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Government neglect in schools undermining so-called knowledge economy - Crowe

25 October, 2006

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Seán Crowe TD was critical today of the Department of Education and the Government for ‘neglecting information technology in our schools’. Deputy Crowe went on to point out that this was unsurprising considering our overall investment in education is near the bottom of the OECD league table.


The Dublin South West TD said: “The fact that the average primary school had to privately raise over €2,000 in excess of what grants they received from the Government for Information Computer Technology last year signals that this Government, awash with money, is not providing enough funding in this area.


“Their failure to sufficiently fund the provision of information technology in every school is evident and will cripple the development of our so-called knowledge economy.


“Despite the Department of Education spending €10 million on ICT this year, almost half of primary schools and a third of secondary schools rely on fundraising or private contributions. The days of school children having to collect thousands of receipts in supermarkets in return for computers should be over.


“Hundreds of schools are still without broadband, while the quality of computers and broadband in some schools leaving a lot to be desired. The economic reality for a lot of these schools is that when their computer systems break down or their broadband connection goes they cannot afford the money to bring out repair staff.


“It is no surprise however that we have under-investment in this area as our overall spending on Education languishes near the bottom of OECD countries. Without a substantial increase in investment we will continue to fall further behind.”



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