€25m boost for technology subjects in schools

1 Dec 2006

The implementation of technology subjects in schools was given a boost yesterday with the announcement of a €25m investment to purchase new equipment as well as the launch of a technology subjects support service for teachers.

The support service, which will enable teachers implement the four new technology subjects in second-level schools, has already begun providing professional training and development to approximately 2,000 technology teachers through the first intensive sessions of training.

In the coming weeks some €25m funding will be distributed to approximately 500 second-level schools to upgrade facilities to enable them provide these subjects. This funding will be used to provide PC’s, laptops, printers, scanners, digital scanners and data projectors which will be integrated into daily teaching and learning.

Four new and revised Leaving Cert technology subjects were unveiled last year, two of which — Technology and Design and Communication Graphics (DCG) — will be taught in schools from September 2007 and examined for the first time in June 2009.

Leaving Cert students will have the chance to study technology as a follow-on subject from their Junior Cert. The new subject of Design and Communication Graphics replaces Technical Drawing.

With the introduction of Computer Aided Design (CAD) students and teachers will be able to design and communicate using tools previously only available to the space industry, aircraft designers and industrial engineers. The funding will ensure that every student has access to a computer for their study, rather than sharing a computer during class time. This means that our second-level students will be well placed for higher studies and the rapidly changing workplace of the 21st century.

The subjects will provide students with the skills of critical thinking, creative problem solving and all the challenges and opportunities that are presented with the use of ICT and modern technologies.”

The Department of Education and Science will contact schools before Christmas to outline details of their funding allocation, which depends on the particular subjects offered and the numbers of students taking each subject.

By Elaine Larkin