Severe lack of IT support for Irish schools


27 Mar 2009

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Having completed an in-depth study of primary and secondary schools over the past months, Komplett asserts that IT support for Irish schools is lacking from the Department of Education.

In working closely with the primary and secondary educational sector for some months now, e-commerce player Komplett Ireland now believes a significant IT knowledge gap exists in many schools, which is costing the state money in wasted spending, and is costing students unique opportunities to learn by simply having a working IT infrastructure.

According to Aaron McKenna, country manager for Komplett Ireland, schools are forced to depend on whatever tech-savvy teachers and parents can advise when it comes to purchasing decisions and helping to solve IT problems.

Komplett Ireland said schools are being “ripped off” by contractors who are overcharging on simple jobs. McKenna gives the example of a school the company encountered in Beaumount, Co Dublin: “We discovered a school that had been quoted €550 to sort out a wireless network solution, a job that – including parts and labour at €20 an hour – we quoted €150 for.”

In addition, Komplett Ireland said schools are given IT grants, but have no in-house or official knowledge support to help them make cost-effective purchasing decisions.

McKenna explained: “We are genuinely outraged and stunned by some of the stories we’ve heard, and simple problems that we’ve been able to solve for various schools.

“Why the Department of Education has no real widespread knowledge-based backup for schools is amazing. It could be saving money in capital investments, if only it made better use of the kit it has, and was wise in its spending.”

Komplett Ireland is now striving to gain long-term relationships with these schools by offering both cheap hardware and also service solutions through consulting partners, introduced by and working through the company.

“Not one school we have visited hasn’t had simply jaw-dropping stories to tell about their IT lives,” concludes McKenna.

Komplett set up a local office in Dublin in 2008 after selling in Ireland for over six years from its western European base in the Netherlands.

By Carmel Doyle