A very interesting article in the Irish Times today regarding ICT investment in education. This brings some well needed press attention to the delay in the investment of €252 million allocated in the NDP 2007-2013 for primary and secondary schools.
John Carr of the INTO warned the Government that failure to invest in ICT for education will have repercussions for the economy, in the future, and described it as tantamount to neglect. “We are being left behind and without a substantial investment we will fall further behind,” he said. “We have one of the lowest rates of ICT usage in education in the developed world. This is unsurprising given that one in five of all school computers are clapped out.”
The delay in funding is also damaging the Irish software industry who develop software for the Irish curriculum. As many schools do not have the money available to purchase software or hardware, or are holding off on upgrading or purchasing new software. This has been conveyed to me over the past four months by school teachers who are starved of ICT money. This is and will have the knock-on affect of starving Irish companies of money needed to invest in new technologies and future r&d for ICT education.
It worries me that no other industry would be dealt such a blow, our customers have been promised money for ICT investment, and they are thus holding off for that money before doing so. With this investment being delayed it puts increasing pressure on future investment in Irish software for schools and curriculum focused software and hardware. We hope that the current minister fast tracks the investment in ICT for schools.