Educational disadvantage

Life

2 October 2006

A survey released by the European Commission, entitled Use of Computers and the  Internet  in  Schools  2006,  has  criticised  many  aspects of the provision   of  information  communication  technology  (ICT)  in  Irish schools.

This survey  reveals that a third of Irish schools (34%) still do not  have  broadband internet access. Ireland ranks in 20th place out of 27 states  for  broadband  internet services in schools. There are also striking  variations in the provision of broadband services for schools, as  70%  of  schools  in  densely  populated areas have broadband access compared to 56% of schools in rural areas.

The survey found that Irish teachers have very positive attitudes to the use  of  ICT  for  teaching,  and  rank  top across Europe regarding ICT competence.  Yet  Ireland  is  at  the very bottom in Europe in terms of teacher’s satisfaction with the ICT infrastructure in their schools. 34% believe  there  is  a “major problem…with insufficient ICT equipment and access to the internet in Irish schools.” An astonishingly high 85% wish there  were “better support and maintenance actions taken” for using ICT in schools. This situation is only worse in Malta and Latvia.

 

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Furthermore, 52%  believe there are also serious issues with regards to accessing  adequate  learning  materials and 41% claim that existing ICT teaching materials are of poor quality. The Commission report finds that  “with  these  figures,  Ireland  takes  one  of  the bottom positions in Europe.”

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