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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 20 Jun 2000

Vol. 521 No. 4

Written Answers. - Education Equality Initiative.

Richard Bruton


287 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science the amount paid to each of the 13 projects funded by the Women's Education Initiative; and the way in which it was spent in each case. [17229/00]

Richard Bruton


288 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science the amount of the £3.5 million available under the education equality initiative which has been allocated to the men's education initiative; and the amount which has been allocated to the women's education initiative. [17230/00]

Richard Bruton


289 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science the proposals he has drawn up, or initiatives he intends to take, to ensure that men and women benefit equally from the education equality initiative, and in particular to redress the imbalance that currently exists in view of the fact that the women's education initiative has been in existence since June 1997. [17231/00]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 287 to 289, inclusive, together.

The women's education initiative, established in 1998, was built upon the principle of participation by the key stakeholders in women's education. The Department of Education and Science, with the support of the European Social Fund, assisted 13 projects to address gaps in provision for educationally disadvantaged women and to develop models of good practice in this area. The aim was that these models would be capable of wider application and would impact on future policy, thereby bringing about long-term change in the further education opportunities for educationally disadvantaged women and men. Child care was provided for participants. Some £600,000 was allocated over 1998 and 1999 for the projects, together with child care funding of £150,000. Expenditure was as follows.

Expenditure on Women's Education Initiative Projects.






Develop, train and support local women's education networks


Irish Deaf Society

Deliver literacy classes to deaf people through Irish Sign Language



Address the education needs of women who have experienced domestic violence



Address the education needs of refugee women.



Development and publication of a training manual for single mothers


Dillon's Cross

Provide education courses for partners of prisoners


Dublin Adult Learning Centre

Provide tuition and training programmes for mothers with literacy difficulties


National Traveller Women's Forum

Develop and run training programmes for Traveller women activists


Newbury House

Provide training programmes for young mothers


Power Partnership

Provide a cross-Border sessional adult education programme to promote women's political development


The Shanty

Deliver education courses for women in the Tallaght area, conduct research on local education needs and establish an Education Bureau


The South-West Kerry Women's Association

Address the education needs of rural women


Women's Education Research and Resource Centre

Target women from Blanchardstown who have not traditionally participated in formal education


The initiative has reached its final months and was due to finish in March 2000. The national development plan provides for the expansion of the women's education initiative, and for the inclusion of a men's strand within a broader equality initiative. £3.5 million has been allocated over the period 2000-2006, or £500,000 per annum.
In accordance with the national development plan, £2.5 million will be used to support groups in the southern and eastern region and £1 million will be used in the Border, midland and western regions. This is the only prior commitment of funding into which the Department has entered.
A consultation process was held with represen-tatives of men's groups on 27 March last to ensure that the criteria under consideration would not discriminate against applications from men's groups. Applications have been invited through newspaper advertisements, with a closing date of 14 July.
The criteria are aimed at providing funding for projects which address gaps in the provision of education and training for specific marginalised groups; develop innovative approaches to outreach and pre-development work; build local capacity and test models of community education; develop support structures and provide for accreditation; foster partnership between statutory and voluntary agencies; develop models of good practice in relation to analysing and informing policy; mainstream learning; facilitate progression of marginalised groups and individuals and disseminate learning and share good practice.
Subject to these criteria, and to the regionalisation policy within the national development plan, projects will be selected on merit according to the degree to which they effectively target educational disadvantage among disadvantaged groups and without regard to whether these target groups are male, female or mixed. Successful projects will be recommended by a selection committee, based on the above criteria.