Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 06 February, 2007

Written Answers. - ICT Programme.

Mr. Curran asked the Minister for Education and Science the amount of funding allocated to schools in Lucan, County Dublin for information and communications technology purposes for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006. [4088/07]

Mr. Curran asked the Minister for Education and Science the amount of funding allocated to schools in Clondalkin, Dublin 22 for information and communications technology purposes for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006. [4089/07]

  Ms Hanafin: I propose to take Questions Nos. 553 and 554 together.

While the specific information sought by the Deputy is not readily available, the two recent investment priorities under the ICT in Schools Programme have been the provision of networking grants to schools and the Schools Broadband Access Programme. Schools were invited to submit proposals for the development of their networking capability in June 2004 and grants totalling some €23m have since issued to schools.

The roll-out of broadband connectivity to all recognised schools is being undertaken in partnership with industry, in the context of the joint Government — IBEC — TIF (Telecommunications and Internet Federation) three year Agreement to fund local connectivity at school level. The broadband connectivity is being provided via a Schools National Broadband Network supported by HEAnet, in order to provide managed Internet access, email, security controls and content filtering. A broadband support service is being managed by the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE) to assist schools with advice and information relating to the roll-out and ongoing use of their broadband connectivity within the schools network. The overall costs of the Schools Broadband Access Programme, including the initial set-up and ongoing costs over the three years, are in the region of €30m.

A further €25m has been provided in grants to some 500 post-primary schools to enable them to upgrade their facilities to enable them to provide the new Technology syllabus and the revised Design and Communication Graphics syllabus at [1938] Leaving Certificate level, with effect from September 2007.

I am aware of the benefits that good use of ICT can bring to our children’s education and I am conscious of the need for further investment to realise the full potential of integrating ICT into teaching and learning and I intend to publish a comprehensive new ICT strategy this year covering the period of the new National Development Plan to 2013.

Question No. 555 answered with Question No. 552.