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School Curriculum

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 3 May 2018

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Questions (92)

Barry Cowen


92. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated full year cost of introducing a computing and coding curriculum for primary schools. [19426/18]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Exact expenditure figures regarding the teaching of Computing or Coding in primary schools are not available, as funding is not allocated by my Department on a subject-by-subject basis. However, work in this area is taking place at both primary and post-primary levels.

Shortly after being appointed, I asked the NCCA how coding and computational and creative thinking skills could be incorporated into the primary school curriculum.

The new draft Primary Mathematics Curriculum which is being developed by the NCCA at present, provides opportunities for children to develop computational, flexible and creative thinking skills which contribute to the foundations of coding. In addition the NCCA are working with a network of schools to explore different approaches to integrating coding in the primary curriculum.

Currently the PDST Technology in Education provide training for both primary and post primary teachers in ICT which includes 'Scratch' coding. 5,800 teachers received ICT training in 2016.

Furthermore, a large number of schools are running voluntary coding programmes through initiatives such as Coder Dojo (over 200 dojos in Ireland), Hour of Code, where over 200 events took place in Ireland and the annual computer programming Olympiad held at Dublin City University.

Further resources in this area will be looked at in conjunction with the STEM Education Policy Statement and Implementation Plan which was published in late 2017.