Digital Strategy for education 2021-2027

The covid-19 pandemic has continued into 2021 in a way that we had all hoped it wouldn’t. The Irish Government and the Department of Education have been working on strategies for schools in Ireland that will enable them to plan and cope in more innovative and efficient ways with school closures. Schools across Ireland have had to ‘custom make’ their own strategies for online distance learning due to lockdown school closures.

The strategy is aimed at embedding digital technology in the learning process where gaps became very obvious during the Covid-19 pandemic. The current strategy, in place until the end of this school year in May 2021, enabled schools to invest in tablets and laptops for use by students. However more funding is needed to support digital infrastructure, particularly for schools in disadvantaged communities.

The Irish Government are working on a post-Covid ‘digital strategy’ for schools. The education minister is consulting with schools to enable them have their say on the plan to invest €200 million in digital learning in Irish schools up to 2027. This consultation with schools is in line with the European Commission ‘The Digital Education Action Plan 2021 – 2027’. A vision to provide: ‘high quality, visible and inclusive digital education in Europe.

The main priorities of the plan are:

1. Fostering the development of a high-performing digital education ecosystem

This requires:

  • infrastructure, connectivity and digital equipment
  • effective digital capacity planning and development, including up-to-date organisational capabilities
  • digitally competent and confident teachers and education and training staff
  • high-quality learning content, user-friendly tools and secure platforms which respect privacy and ethical standards
2. Enhancing digital skills and competences for the digital transformation

This needs:

  • basic digital skills and competences from an early age
  • digital literacy, including fighting disinformation
  • computing education
  • good knowledge and understanding of data-intensive technologies, such as artificial intelligence
  • advanced digital skills which produce more digital specialists and also ensure that girls and young women are equally represented in digital studies and careers

The strategy aims to improve the standards of education across Europe to make our education and training systems fit for the digital age.

More information can be found at

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/education-minister-seeks-views-onpost-covid-digital-strategy-for-schools-40278315.htmlhttps://ec.europa.eu/education/education-in-the-eu/digital-education-action-plan_en