EU NRRP FUNDING TO SCHOOLS TO ADDRESS THE DIGITAL DIVIDE

February 9, 2023

By Darragh

The National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) was developed by the Government to enable Ireland to access funding under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility. The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the largest component of NextGenerationEU which is the European Union’s response to the global pandemic. The aim is to help repair the immediate economic and social damage brought about by the pandemic and to prepare for a post-Covid Europe that is greener, includes improved digitisation, is more resilient and fit to face the future. The Department of Education was successful in securing €50m under this funding facility for the issue of a once-off grant to recognised primary and post-primary schools in the free education scheme. The focus of this funding will be to enable schools to address the needs of learners at risk of educational disadvantage arising from a lack of access to necessary digital infrastructure. This funding is specifically targeted at supporting learners at risk of educational disadvantage through lack of access to digital technology. Schools should plan for the effective and targeted use of this funding as part of their Digital Learning Plan (DLP). It is important that schools review and revise their DLP to incorporate the specific intentions for this funding to ensure purposeful investment aligned to their overall strategic goals for enhanced digital capacity for all learners.

With the money that our school received from this fund, our school purchased 16 new Apple IPADS, a charging trolley and we updated some of our laptops.  These IPADS were used to support learners at risk of educational disadvantage as a result of the digital divide and to give them access to IT equipment that they would never previously had the opportunity to do so at home.  We also loaned out these devices to families that did not have access to computers or tablets during lockdown.

This is what we have used the equipment for:

We have completed many STEAM projects including the 6th classes participation in the Primary Science Fair in the RDS which focused on how healthy are breakfast cereals.

We have used the IPADS to enable the children to designs homes from the future and from the past also using Minecraft.

We learned how to create music using the app Garbage Band and we did a project with Music Generation Kildare.

 

We have used the IPADS to support numeracy, problem solving and computational teaching using apps like Rock Star Tables. The children have also used Scratch to completed projects on animations.  The IPADS have also helped the curricular delivery of lots of subjects like History, Geography, Irish, Art, English etc.

 

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