East Antrim students receive electronic devices to support learning

Education Minister Peter Weir has said all requests for digital devices received from the priority year groups have been fulfilled in the East Antrim constituency and the scheme will now be rolled-out to other students.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 5:33 pm

The DUP representative confirmed the move in response to a question submitted by East Antrim Alliance MLA, Stewart Dickson.

Mr Dickson had asked the Minister to detail the number of requests that are outstanding for devices or internet access support from schools in East Antrim.

Commenting on the issue, Mr Weir said: “I can advise, to date, all requests for digital devices received from the priority year groups have been fulfilled in the East Antrim constituency.

Stewart Dickson MLA.

“The priority year groups were years 12, 14, 7, 11 and 13. Having fully met this demand, I approved the procurement of additional devices and agreed to extend the digital devices lending scheme to eligible learners in other years.

“To ensure resources are focused where the need is greatest, the remaining year groups were prioritised to allow the additional requests to be processed in a structured and sequential manner.”

The Strangford MLA added: “As the scheme progresses through the agreed priority list, requests will be administered on a year group basis (years 10, 6, 3, 8, 5, 9, 2 and 1) and the initial estimates from colleagues in the Education Authority indicate there shall be a sufficient number of devices to meet the forecasted demand.

“At present there are 102 requests from learners in the East Antrim constituency and I have been advised that 26 devices, for Year 10 pupils, were allocated from the week commencing March 8.

“In relation to Wifi devices, there was a request for five Mifi devices within East Antrim and these are to be delivered to learners in the week commencing March 15”.


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