Thursday, 9 July 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
1185. Deputy Brian Hayes asked the Minister for Education and Science the progress made in regard to the commitment made in the programme for Government to give the opportunity to second level students to acquire an ECDL qualification in computers by the time they leave school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29443/09]
Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): The curriculum in schools is devised on the basis that ICT is not a subject but rather a tool to be integrated into the teaching and learning of all subjects. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has developed an ICT framework which sets out a structured approach to ICT in curriculum and assessment. This sets out the types of learning appropriate for students during the period of compulsory education, and provides a guide to teachers for embedding ICT across the curriculum. It is supported by a website which will provide exemplars of teaching and learning in different settings, and show the classroom application of learning outcomes and demonstrations in the ICT framework. The overall implementation of ICT in schools is supported by the National Centre for Technology in Education which provides for extensive training and guidance for schools on the integration of ICT into teaching and learning.
The European Computer Driving Licence is a widely used private sector qualification providing basic competences in a range of functions such as word-processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation, web browsing and e-mail. There are also other qualifications attesting to similar or higher levels of skill, some of which are included in the national framework of qualifications. The 2005 census of post primary and special schools undertaken by the National Centre for Technology in Education indicates that 75.7% of schools, and 46% of special schools, offered certification opportunities in ICT. 74% of post primary schools and 32% of special schools offered external certification, primarily using ECDL. Other awards in ICT offered included FETAC, City and Guilds, Royal Society of Arts, Microsoft, etc. Many schools offer ECDL as part of the Transition Year Programme.
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