Fine Gael Senator Aisling Dolan has said special funding for the Galway-Roscommon Education and Training Board will help tackle educational disadvantage and equip adult learners will new skills during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The funding is part of a national allocation of €5.8 million secured by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris, TD, under the Mitigating against Education Disadvantage Fund.
Commented Senator Dolan “Part of Budget 2021, this new fund will support community education for adult learners and will especially help with online learning which has become increasingly important due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“€220,951 in funding for the Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board will help a range of community-based organisations, including Family Resource Centres in Castlerea and Vita House in Roscommon, Ability West, Brothers of Charity, Involve Youth Services and Roscommon Women’s Network.
“The fund will help local, community providers, through the tried and tested structures of the Education and Training Boards, to encourage learners to re-engage with education and training and provide the devices and software needed for education during the ongoing public health restrictions.”
Speaking on the launch of the Mitigating against Education Disadvantage Fund, Minister Simon Harris said: “We know that too many people in Ireland have difficulties with reading, with numbers or with digital skills. Some people may not have got the help they needed earlier in their lives, but what I want people to know is that there is friendly and non-judgemental help there for you now. There are services all over Ireland which will gladly assist you with the skills you’d like to learn.
"One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted was educational inequality – be it a lack of devices like laptops or someone not having the connectivity to study online. The funding I am announcing today is specifically designed to tackle those inequalities and support access to community education,” added Minister Harris.
“I commend Minister Harris,” continued Senator Dolan “for securing this funding and enhancing supports for adult learners during Covid-19. By supporting course-providers and by securing equipment, such as laptops and other devices, as well as educational software, we can help encourage people to re-engage with education, gain new skills and grasp new opportunities.”