Missed opportunity for IT in schools

7 Dec 2006

Ireland’s ICT industry has described Finance Minister Brian Cowen TD’s failure to make sufficient provisions for IT in schools a “missed opportunity”.

The total spend on IT in education, announced in the estimates, equates to €40 per student (based on pupil enrolment of 781,000 ).

“This is utterly inadequate and significantly behind that being invested in England, which spends on average €110 per student on technology,” ICT Ireland director Kathryn Raleigh said.

ICT Ireland also raised concerns with the Government’s failure to announce any detailed measures to alleviate the high cost of energy in yesterday’s Budget.

“The cost of doing business in Ireland has increased dramatically in the past few years and will be made worse by recent energy price hikes.

“The Government has failed to introduce an effective strategy to deal with the energy problem in the long term’, said Raleigh.

However, the IBEC-based body did welcome a €70m extension to R&D tax credits. “The extension of the rolling base year from three to six years and the qualification of sub-contracted R&D will make the scheme more relevant to the technology sector,” Raleigh added.

By John Kennedy