West Dublin schools show the way for Europe
Irish schools highlight the need for EU wide Digital Schools Programme
Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes, this week hosted a meeting between the European Commission and two West Dublin schools. The Principals of St Marks National School and Sacred Heart Senior National School in Tallaght, together with Dublin West Education Centre met with the European Commission officials to discuss plans for an EU wide Digital Schools Initiative.
The schools in West Dublin have led the way by introducing technology into all aspects of their school life. The project has been a major success. Parents get information online. The pupils interact with their teacher online. The programme has radically upgraded teacher education in the area of IT.
The Digital School of Distinction Programme was set up in 2013 and led by Dublin West Education centre, based in Tallaght IT. Over 1600 primary schools across the country have now enrolled in the programme with some 250 schools awarded the Digital School of Distinction award.
This model was replicated in Northern Ireland as well as 7 other EU countries – Denmark, Sweden, Finland, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Already schools in these countries are working together and sharing ideas on their digital school program.
The West Dublin schools were in Brussels this week to see if an EU Digital School Awards System could be established by the European Commission. It’s an amazing example of how two schools in collaboration with an education centre have set the agenda in the area of IT.
Brian Hayes MEP said, “A small amount of funding and recognition in this area would go a long way from the EU Commission. While Europe does not have much competence in the area of EU education policy, it certainly can help showcase best practice and support primary schools across the EU by leading a digital schools program.”