Lack of computers hit new maths course in schools

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The roll-out of a new, 'cutting edge' maths course for Leaving and Junior Cert classes has had to be scaled back because of a lack of computer support in schools. The decision to abandon the Information and Computer Technology (ICT) elements of the new course, Project Maths, is a serious embarrassment for the Department of Education. The new 'user-friendly' course, piloted in 24 schools,  is designed to address the maths crisis. But a confidential report to Minister for Education Batt O'Keeffe on the pilot study says the lack of ICT support has created difficulties. The report from the National Council on Curriculum and Assessment says uneven provision and support of ICT in schools means some elements of the course have had to be 'recast'. Teachers have been forced to abandon teaching key areas such as geometry and statistics with computer support. The Minister has been under pressure from business and employer groups to address the maths crisis. Ireland is 19th out of 26 countries when it comes to using technology in the classroom.

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