Primary schools to receive £16 million ICT boost

The Education Minister Martin McGuinness has announced that primary school pupils are to benefit from a £16 million cash boost over three years to install 5,000 computers across the province.

The contract was allocated to Learning Technology by the Department of Education following a competitive procurement procedure. It will provide and manage over 5,200 workstations and 600 servers to 574 primary schools.

The 5,200 workstations will provide 52,000 pupils with access to the Internet, e-mail and state-of-the-art computer technology.

Learning Technology PLC, which is the parent company of Viglen, will work with Northern Ireland-based service provider Sx3 to install computers in 80 schools every month.

Mr McGuinness said it was important to promote the use of IT in the primary sector - the familiar use of which, would help to raise standards throughout the curriculum through developing pupils’ literacy and numeracy skills, as well as benefiting the teaching and learning of other subjects.

Mr McGuinness said: “ICT is not only helping to raise standards and widen access to educational resources, it also has a key role to play in managing school effectiveness and for these reasons I have invested significantly and will continue to invest in ICT in our schools.”

He added: “I wish to pay tribute to all the school principals and teachers who have trained and worked hard to be ready to use ICT within the classroom and I would like to thank the Classroom 2000 Project staff and wish all of the partners every success in the project’s next phases.”

The procurement of the managed service for primary schools, with enrolments over 190 pupils, is due to be completed at the end of this year. (AMcE)

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