Reference: – (13th May 2016)

Article: Digital Skills crisis in Irish Schools prompts call for urgent reform – Senior Academic, Brendan Tangney, Professor of Computer Science and Statistics.

  • A google funded programme discovered one 500-student school had only one computer to every 20 students.
  • The study found that some schools had virtually no internet access or Wi-Fi and very few computing resources.
  • 60% of schools had little access to the technology required to make an impact on their schools
  • Tangney said that teachers need the following available in the classroom in order to effect change in the classroom:
    • Comprehensive resources
    • Whole school supports
    • Training
    • Technology
  • 63% of teachers who participated in Trinity Access 21 (TA21) CS workshops introduced new CS content in their classroom but they are limited in what they can achieve under current strategies

What is TA21?

TA21 is a 3-year (2014-2017) project funded by Google through a €1.5 million donation.

It aims to effect change in the Irish Education System by preparing teachers to teach CS and related topics through a collaborative learning model.

It aims to increase the number of students from DEIS schools pursuing STEM and CS focused college courses and careers.

Over 60% of the schools that participated in the T21A projects reported having little access to technology. One 500-student school had only one computer to every 20 students.

Structural issues such as short class times and a pressure to teach, to test and prepare students for examinations was also identified by teachers as limiting their capacity to introduce CS skills.

Fionnuala Meehan, Managing Director of EMEA SMB Sales says:

“At second level, CS as a stand-alone module must be considered if we are to make a real difference.”

Over 80 schools across 16 counties have applied for year two of the T21A Programme.