All second level schools in Meath will have high-speed broadband equivalent to business class service by the end of 2013, in a bid to prepare students for the booming digital economy when they seek employment.
In an announcment by the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, the connectivity, which will be at speeds of 100Mbps will allow students to have vastly enhanced access to new and innovate educational tools. "This is an important investment in Ireland's competitiveness," he added. "From now on these schools will mirror the workplaces of tomorrow."
Today's announcement details 216 schools to be connected in Dublin, Meath and Kildare by September 2013, with all remaining 250 schools nationally to be connected in 2014.
This is the second stage of a national roll-out to all second-level schools. The 2012 phase of the project saw broadband installed in all post-primary schools in 14 western and midlands counties, covering 202 schools. This built upon a pilot project involving 78 schools nationally, where the use of broadband has been shown to have improved both teaching and learning.
The European Commission estimates that there will be up to 1 million unfilled vacancies in the ICT area within Europe, by 2015 so equipping second level students with as many computer skills as possible, is considered paramount.
The announcement was made by the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte in conjunction with the office of the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn earlier today.