Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris TD has today announced the distribution of €5.8m granted for community education under the Mitigating against Educational Disadvantage Fund.

The Fund was secured as part of Budget 2021 to support community education for adult learners, who have the highest level of need.

It aims to increase the participation of disadvantaged learners, particularly with the digital infrastructure including providing devices and software, and increasing their capacity to deliver online learning.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “We know that too many people in Ireland have difficulties with reading, with numbers or with digital skills. Some people may not have got the help they needed earlier in their lives, but what I want people to know is that there is friendly and non-judgemental help there for you now.

There are services all over Ireland that will gladly assist you with the skills you’d like to learn.

One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted was educational inequality – be it a lack of devices like laptops or someone not having the connectivity to study online. The funding I am announcing today is specifically designed to tackle those inequalities and support access to community education.

And he continued:

Education is for everyone, for all your life, and I am determined that my department will be part of building an inclusive Ireland where nobody is left behind.

The fund is aimed at supporting and engaging with disadvantaged learners, reaching out, encouraging and supporting learners to re-engage with education and training and attracting new learners to engage with education and training opportunities.

Crucially, it aims at helping build the digital infrastructure of providers, and their capability to ensure that online learning can be delivered in a way that meets the complex needs of all learners.

Minister Rabbitte welcomed the allocation of €220,951 to Galway/Roscommon.