Dept. of Education Partners with US computer companies for schools

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Irish Minister for Education Batt O'Keeffe yesterday met representatives of Apple, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft. In the coming days and weeks, he plans to meet Dell, Intel and Lenovo. Last night the Minister said, 'This series of meetings is designed to explore innovative and cost-effective ways in which ICT providers could work with my department in delivering computer hardware to schools. 'While the development of a possible delivery partnership arrangement is very much in its infancy, the meetings so far have been very positive. I look forward to shortly receiving a range of options from the industry which might point a way forward. 'In these more challenging economic times, it's all the more important to examine cost-effective delivery models for our schools.

The Irish Minister has asked the ICT operators to come back to him in the very near future with a set of options. These should point towards 'cost-effective, affordable and innovative ways' in which the Government could establish a partnership arrangement with the private sector in delivering computer hardware to schools, he said. The options under discussion include new leasing arrangements, discounted equipment and 'a buy-one-get-one-free' offer. As part of the

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