Joe Behan - Independent Councillor - Wicklow County Council

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Tablets Not Always the Answer

Archive Statements > 2017 - April-June

Tablets Are Not Always The Answer
3rd May 2017

I have been asked to raise the concerns of a significant number of parents of students in St. Kevin’s Community College, Dunlavin regarding the exclusive use of tablet computers in school work.

We all know and appreciate the benefits of IT in so many facets of life nowadays but there are conflicting views on the merits of switching to a tablet only policy in second level education.

It is clear that issues such as upfront cost of purchasing the tablet; accidental breakage; insurance costs; malfunction of equipment, and the cost of purchasing e-books can contribute to a huge amount of stress and difficulty for the students and parents alike.

I believe strongly that if parents and students are experiencing some or all of these difficulties, there should be a mechanism for an open and frank discussion between parents and school management leading to a mutually satisfactory solution. This has not happened at local level despite the involvement of the Board of Management.

I have written to the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board Chief Executive asking him to meet the parents who have concerns but to date no such meeting has been organised and I have received no response to my request.

I believe that the solution to the problem is for the school to offer the option to use hard copies of text books instead of tablets for those students who would prefer this method of learning. I believe this course of action would allow all students and staff to progress through their second level education in a manner which is most appropriate for them and would resolve this difficult problem.

However, I also believe this matter could be relevant to other schools in County Wicklow and the Department of Education and Skills needs to engage urgently with schools, students and parents to address their concerns regarding the use of technology for all subjects at second level.

In that regard, Cllr Gerry O’Neill and I intend to raise this issue at next Monday’s meeting of Wicklow County Council to discuss the concerns which have been conveyed to us by a significant number of parents of students in St. Kevin’s Community College, Dunlavin.

Cllr. Joe Behan


Serving the people of County Wicklow since 1985 |

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