Tipperary school principal says access to broadband bigger issue than access to laptops

The Principal of a Tipperary secondary school believes that access to broadband is a bigger issue than access to laptops.

Michael O’Connor of Coláiste Phobal in Roscrea has been responding after seven million euro in IT funding was announced for schools in recent days.

Education Minister Joe McHugh has said that the funding is aimed to go towards helping schools to buy laptops to loan to students working at home.

Mr O’Connor says his Leaving Cert students have been surveyed however, and thinks laptops aren’t the issue:

“More students seem to have some devise or other. Obviously, there’s a few who don’t. But the overwhelming problem is access to good quality broadband or wifi to enable them to engage with our teachers, to do the online classes, to do the assignments and to engage with the online learning.

“So, the funding initially, it seems, is being released for devises, but in our situation it seems that it’s actually access to broadband is the big issue.”