Two Galway schools will receive funding for equipment to introduce P.E and Computer Science as Leaving Cert subjects this September.
The Convent of Mercy school in Tuam is one of 40 schools in Ireland introducing Computer Science to the curriculum this September, and Gort Community School is one of 64 introducing P.E.
Galway East TD Sean Canney congratulated the teachers at these schools for “taking on the challenge presented by these new subjects and wish the students all the best in their studies.”
The Convent of Mercy school will receive €3,000 for connector devices for the school computers, and Gort Community School has been granted €350 for digital devices students will use on course assessments and €750 for uploading hardware.
The two Galway schools are part of Phase 1 of the new subjects rollout; nationally they will be added to the curriculum in 2020.
Minister for Education Richard Bruton announced this week that €450,000 will be spent implementing the two subjects this year.
“The introduction of Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject is part of our ambition to make Ireland a STEM leader among our European colleagues.
“The grants being issued to schools, from this September will complement other recent grants given to schools to support them in embedding digital technology in teaching and learning.”
€30 million in grants to schools for information and computer technology was recently allocated by the government, on top of another €30 million last year.
All told, the government has committed to investing €150 million in ICT infrastructure over the next three years.
Minister Bruton also said that P.E not only builds physical health, but is good for young people’s mental health and promotes team-building skills.
“The introduction of Physical Education as a full examinable Leaving Certificate subject reflects the priority this government puts on promoting healthy lifestyles and choices.”
In addition the the monetary grants, the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) has developed a comprehensive training programme to support these new subjects.
The programme started training teachers earlier this year and will continue over the next two years.
“With these additional grants, and the comprehensive teacher professional development we are providing, the teachers and schools offering these new subjects from this September will be fully prepared to deliver these new subjects over the next two years.” said Minister Bruton.
“The experience of these two new subjects will inform both the national rollout of these subjects but also, the possibility of incorporating digital technology more widely in the assessment of other subjects.”
The €450,000 in grants announced this week are a one off payment for schools taking part of Phase 1 of the new subjects introduction.
Other Galway schools that will begin studying them in as part of the national rollout will have to make sure the have necessary ICT equipment in place through Digital Strategy for Schools grants.