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Longford Primrary Schools Digital Project

Press Release  - Longford Primary School’s Digital Project – 2nd May, 2019

Longford County Council recently invited all primary schools in Co. Longford to participate in a “Primary School’s Digital Project”. 

The Primary School’s Digital Project is unique to Co. Longford and was organised by Longford County Council through funding received from the Department of Rural and Community Development.  The objective of it being to help children in Co. Longford understand the National Broadband Plan and some of the terms used by adults and technologists in relation to it. 

The Primary School’s Digital Project was funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development following the Council’s successful application for funding under the Depts. Digital Innovation Programme. 

Through the Digital Innovation Programme, the Dept. funded five projects nationally with Longford County Council winning two out of the five funding slots available, one of the funding slots being for the “Primary Schools Digital Project”. 

As part of the Project, the Council’s Broadband Officer, Ms. Christine Collins, visited schools in the County to introduce the children to the National Broadband Plan and help explain in simple terms some of the technical terminology used in relation to Broadband. 

Following her visits, Christine stated to us; “I received such a warm welcome in all the schools and it was lovely to see such enthusiasm for technology and for the Council’s “Primary School’s Digital Project”. I am very thankful to all the teachers and students in Co. Longford for taking the time to participate in the Council’s Primary Schools Digital Project initiative” 

Following Christine’s visit, the children in each school prepared a short project on the National Broadband Plan and what it will mean for their school and their families. The children also explained in their own words some of the technical terms used in relation to Broadband.

The projects submitted were then evaluated by an independent adjudicator with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awarded to schools in each municipal district.

The independent adjudicator told us that; “The competition was very close and of an extremely high standard; it was quite a challenge to select the winners for each Municipal District. All the children that entered the competition should be commended for the variety and relevance of their answers and should be very proud of themselves.”

Following the adjudication, the winning entries were notified and invited to attend the awards ceremony on Thursday 2nd May in Aras an Chontae, Longford County Council.

Longford County Council were honoured to have Minister of State Seán Canney T.D. with responsibility for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development to present the awards to the winning schools along with the Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Mr. Luie McEntire, as well as the Cathaoirleach from each municipal.

Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council, Mr. Luie McEntire stated during the event; “I am delighted to welcome Minister Canney to the Council Offices and the children from the nine winning schools across the county. The work submitted by the schools involved is a credit to the children, parent and teachers alike. They have presented the National Broadband Plan and some of the key terms used as part of it in a wonderfully accurate and simple manner.”

Minister Canney, speaking after the event said “I was really impressed with the effort and creativity that the children put into this project. They have such a clear understanding of the value that technology can add to our lives and they did an incredible job of writing persuasive, insightful and thought-provoking stories. They were a joy to spend time with and I’m sure that their parents and teachers are very proud.”

 The results of the competition were as follows:

Longford Municipal District
1stMelview National School, Longford
2ndScoil Mhuire, National School, Newtownforbes
3rdSaint Joseph's National School, Longford
Granard Municipal District
1stScoil Mhuire National School, Aughnagarron
2ndSacred Heart National School, Granard
3rdSaint Colmcille's National School, Aughnacliffe
Ballymahon Municipal District
1stSt. John's National School, Edgeworthstown
2ndSt. Sinneach's National School, Colehill
3rdScoil Bhríde National School, Glen

The atmosphere at the awards ceremony was fantastic and it was evident from the engagement from Minister, Cathaoirleach, elected members teachers students and parents that Longford County Council have commenced their digital journey and are committed to facilitate and promote digital equality to all their citizen’s in county Longford.

NOTES TO THE EDITOR

https://drcd.gov.ie/about/news-centre/press-releases/minister-of-state-kyne-launches-digital-innovation-programme/

The Council recognises the Government’s National Broadband Plan (NBP) as a high priority infrastructure project for the county providing connectivity and removing the digital divide in our communities. The NBP, when completed, will deliver high speed broadband services (minimum speed of 30Mbps download and 6Mbps upload) to all households in Longford.

Although the NBP is still at tender stage, the Council are working to promote an early, fast and efficient rollout of the NBP upon completion of the tender process.

The Department of Rural and Community Development’s Digital Innovation Programme, established in September 2018, supports local authorities as they develop digital initiatives in their areas.  To date, the Department of Rural and Community Development has awarded more than €800k in grants to local authorities under the Digital Innovation Programme. This programme is a starting point for the digital journey that local authorities and communities are on and will complement the development and rollout of local digital strategies.  This programme aims to support innovative projects that can be replicated elsewhere in the country. 

As part of a pilot Digital Innovation Programme, five pathfinder projects in Galway, Roscommon, Sligo, Longford and Monaghan were selected for funding.  Longford County Council was successful in securing funding for two projects.  One of which being the “Primary School Digital Project”.

Primary Schools Digital Project Awards 2019

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