Government to spend €7m on new computers for Leaving Cert Design and Graphics students

Jan O'Sullivan has signalled her intention to bring in new laws in the coming months to combat inequality in admissions to schools

Katherine Donnelly, Education Editor

Second-level schools are finally getting new computers for the 5,000 students a year who sit Leaving Certificate Design and Communications Graphics.

School computers are so out of date  that they are no longer fast enough  to support the cutting-edge software needed for the teaching and learning of the subject.

Technology is central to assessment in the subject, which was introduced for the Leaving Certificate in 2007 but  it soon became obvious that schools' computer stock was not up  to scratch for it.

Students in more than  400 schools - over half of all second-level schools -  are now taking the subject.

School leaders have been putting strong pressure on the Department of Education for funding for new computers for these students, but it could not be found in the austerity era.

Today,  Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan told second-level principals at their annual conference that she was allocating  €7m for spending on both new computers and the necessary software.

The tender for the software was issued yesterday and the tender for the computers , which will allow for their roll-put to schools in the current year.