Sometimes I really question what planet our politicians live on! While it may be ideal for every child to have access to an iPad, if we want to ensure Ireland remains a tech-savvy country, as indicated by Minister Noonan a month ago (see Irish Independent article below) surely the government’s focus should be on ensuring all children have access to enough food and a roof over their head – the basics to live, before committing to iPads for all.
Finance Minister Michael Noonan has said every child over the age of five should have access to an iPad to make Ireland a more tech-savvy country.
Mr Noonan also pledged to unveil a raft of budget measures which will continue to make Ireland an attractive destination for high-tech firms.
Speaking at a Fine Gael fundraising event, the minister said “very strong innovation” was the “X-factor” that Ireland needed to ensure the economic recovery continued.
“We must use the schools to drive it and we must use new ways of managing people,” Mr Noonan said.
“You need to organise people in a way they are working in teams to combine the innovative efforts of individuals to do something dramatic,” he added.
In a wide-ranging after-dinner speech, Mr Noonan said Ireland can become a country “that is well in advance of its competitors” if the innovative energy of its citizens can be properly harnessed.
“We certainly should have every child with an iPad at five years of age,” he added.
He said the Government would push to have computer tablets in every classroom to give children IT skills from an early age.
Mr Noonan said his comments were reflective of Fine Gael’s soon-to-be-published manifesto for the forthcoming General Election.
And, with less than two weeks to go before next year’s Budget is announced, Mr Noonan also promised to introduce measures to encourage research and development companies to set up in Ireland.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny also spoke about the benefits of iPads this week and called on teachers to nurture the talents of their pupils.
Speaking at the launch of Independent News and Media’s new office, Mr Kenny said: “Now you have the iPads and God almighty the volume of stuff that comes in, whether it be on social media or the availability or the access to information.
“I say to teachers, they have to be counsellors and guiders and directors now because any student can pick an Everest of information on any topic.
“But to decide what’s a priority, what’s necessary, what’s realistic and where you should be trying to put your talent as a student is always a position for a guider or a counsellor or someone who says, ‘look it’s all up there, but really, here are the places where your talent lies’.”
Irish Independent 26/09/2015