Dáil Éireann - Volume 529 - 01 February, 2001
Written Answers. - Schools IT 2000 Programme.
Mr. Perry Mr. Perry
66. Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will give a report on the Programme for IT 2000; the number of schools that participated; the expenditure involved; his Department's analysis of the degree of success the programme has attained to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2707/01]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): The Schools IT 2000 project was launched in November 1997 and, to the end of the year 2000, more than £40 million had been invested by the State in implementing the project. Some £20 million in additional funding was provided by the private sector.
The overall aim of Schools IT 2000 is to ensure that pupils in every school have the opportunity to achieve computer and Internet literacy and to equip themselves for participation in the information society. To this end, grants issued to all schools – excluding further education colleges and schools not recognised for grant purposes under the free education scheme – to build up their technology infrastructure, a comprehensive teacher training programme in ICTs was provided and support services were established.
A survey carried out for my Department indicates that, to date, there are approximately 56,000 multimedia computers in Irish first and second level schools – an increase of 65% since 1998; 75% of teachers have taken ICT skills training courses; the ratio of pupils to computers has fallen to 17.7:1 at first level and 13:1 at second level; all schools have been provided with an Internet connection and over 90% of schools have used e-mail; 78% of second level schools and 18% of first level schools have local area networks; 69% of second level schools have an ISDN connection and 62% have multi-user Internet access; 46% of second level schools and 15% of first level schools have websites.
In addition, in first level schools there has been a significant increase in the use of ICT in the curriculum. This is especially so in English, other modern languages, learning support and mathematics. Approximately 400 schools are participating in 70 innovative ICT projects under the schools integration project. The outcome of these projects is being evaluated and will be disseminated to assist in development of best practice not only in Ireland but further afield. Special funding was made available for pupils with special needs in recognition of the special benefits they have been shown to derive from use of ICT in their education and further dedicated funding of £1.75 million is being made available for this area in 2001.
Dáil Éireann 529 Written Answers. Schools IT 2000 Programme.