Computers don’t pay Tax

Our Irish Government Computer Con

The Irish government announced this week that they intend to invest 210 million euro in putting digital technology in Irish schools. They say they will do this over the next five years.

They say they will do it regardless of the fact that a recent OECD global study showed that using computers at school more intensively than the current OECD average tends to be associated with “Significantly poorer student performance”.

They will do it despite the fact that most schools in the country don’t have enough Broadband speed to be able to take any advantage of it.

They will do it because….

They will do it because the government needs to manufacture plenty of computer industry fodder or, as the Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, put it on Irish radio on Wednesday,
“because the kind of job opportunities that are available to (Irish young people) will require these kinds of skills.”
They will do it because the government is not concerned with real education but only concerned with producing economic units.
In reality they will do it because it sounds Good.                                                                               They will do it because there is a General Election coming and because it sounds like something that will get them what they want.

The Irish government with their “Digital Strategy for Schools” is pulling the same con on the Irish parent that every kid in the country, with any smarts at all, has been pulling over the last twenty years…
“I need a new computer…for my Education”
Parents fork out and kid strolls off to his bedroom with a nice new laptop for Facebook.
210 Million? For a strategy that shows “no appreciable improvements in student achievement” in the basics of education. (OECD)

 Give us a break.

210 million would pay an extra 1000 teachers over the next five years. All of them would pay tax back into the Government coffers. And teachers won’t be out of date in five years time and want upgrading. And they rarely smash into pieces when you drop them on the floor.

210 million could be could be better spent taking parents and grandparents off trolleys in our hospitals and sending them back home to involve themselves in real education of their children.  Last night 71 people spent the night on trolleys in my local hospital (Drogheda) because they could not get access to a bed. Today saw Tony Fitzpatrick of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation stating on Irish radio that there is need to invoke the Major Disaster Plan for the hospital. I’d say Mr Fitzpatrick could find some use for that 210 million.

Irish Finance Minister, Michael Noonan,  recently declared that “we certainly should have every child with an iPad at five years of age”. Why? Because we must use our children to get us out of the mire we are in economically. Yes, he insisted “we must use the schools” to drive economic recovery. He said that he wants to run Ireland’s economy the same way that his “good friend” Wolfgang Shauble runs Germany’s.
Well, German kids spend less time than do Irish kids using computers in their schools according to that OECD report, Michael.
 Less time.  Not more.  Copy that?

The OECD report states that there is “no appreciable improvements in student achievement in reading, mathematics or science in the countries that had invested heavily in Information and Communications Technology”.
But our Irish government is going to do it anyway.
210 million euro worth of it.

Just something to think about.

About consistentclarity

I have been involved in education all my working life. I am trained as a teacher and have taught both children and adults. I am fascinated by how people and animals learn and all that they have in common. Music and literature have been central in my life.
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