19/01/2005

Minister praises advancement in e-learning

Education Minister, Barry Gardiner, has praised the progress being made in e-learning in Northern Ireland's schools while attending the Moving Young Minds’ World Conference in London.

The Minister met with 34 other Education Ministers at last week’s Conference and shared views with international Ministerial colleagues about the impact of ICT on education standards in the context of the new targets for the next five years.

“E-Learning needs to become part of the professional competence of all educators,” Mr Gardiner said. “Government will seek strategic opportunities to drive forward collaboration – both within the school service and with the private sector – and to build capacity as widely as possible.”

The Minister referred to the 'emPowering Schools Strategy' which was published last March and which he has recently endorsed following consultation with schools," he said.

“It is recognised that what has been achieved here sits on a world stage. It is of interest beyond Northern Ireland how we make best use of the excellent resources and opportunities provided.

“I want to see leaders at all levels work with us in partnership to embed education technologies into the vision, strategy, budgets, development and action plans for those parts of the schools service for which they are responsible. We need to see energetic, well-coordinated efforts to make the best of Government’s major investment in school technology infrastructure,” said the Minister.

The event, the second of its kind in the world, attracted over 135 international delegates from 85 countries, 40% of them at Ministerial level.

(MB/SP)

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