Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Ceisteanna (141)

Seamus Kirk

Ceist:

143 Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to include a new computer studies course on the second level curriculum, in view of improvements in the IT sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34567/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Skills)

The curriculum in post-primary schools is devised on the basis that ICT is not a subject but rather a tool to be integrated into the teaching and learning across all subjects. The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment has developed an ICT framework which sets out a structured approach to ICT in curriculum and assessment. This sets out the types of learning appropriate for students during the period of compulsory education, and provides a guide to teachers for embedding ICT across the curriculum. Therefore, it is not time bound.

The overall implementation of ICT in schools is supported by the National Centre for Technology in Education which provides for extensive training and guidance for schools on the integration of ICT into teaching and learning. I am currently leading the reform of the Junior Cycle. A Framework for the revised Junior Cycle has been prepared. It contains 24 Statements of Learning which students should experience. One of the Statements of Learning aims to ensure that all students "use ICT effectively and ethically in learning and in life". In addition, there are six key skills identified. One of them is "managing information and thinking" and includes " using ICT to access, manage and share knowledge". The reform will also allow for the introduction of optional school developed short courses of 100 hours duration. This will provide a new opportunity for schools to progress the provision of short courses to enhance students' ICT skills which will be embedded in all their learning. Such courses could include software programming and coding, if a school so chooses.