Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board (CMETB) has been awarded over €640,000 in funding to address educational disadvantage. This funding was allocated by SOLAS to CMETB as part of The Mitigating Against Educational Disadvantage Fund (MAEDF).
The Mitigating Against Educational Disadvantage Fund aims to address educational disadvantage which may be experienced by learners and has a particular focus on supporting the engagement/re-engagement of learners in the community. This initiative aims to reduce barriers to participation in Further Education & Training (FET) by facilitating wider access to digital technologies, equipment and materials.
The grants will help to break down many barriers to learning – such as a lack of devices like laptops or someone not having the connectivity to study online.
Linda Pinkster, Director of Further Education & Training said: “The MAEDF funding, and associated projects, will be of great support and benefit to learners, community & voluntary groups and those hardest to reach. Ultimately, it will enable those who are disadvantaged or isolated to engage in education. It will provide platforms for greater participation and reduce the isolation currently experienced due to Covid-19.”
Cllr. Colm Carthy, Chairperson of Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board stated: ‘I want to welcome funding received from SOLAS to Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board as part of the Mitigating Against Educational Disadvantage Fund. This money will go towards our most vulnerable learners, and deprived communities, to ensure a higher level of access to education, training and upskilling.
The funding will not only benefit those currently accessing educational services but will also equip community centres and voluntary groups to provide access to future training services for the communities they serve.
The Executive and staff of Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board have to be commended for the work they have put into the application process and for their continued support they give to both counties.’
As a result of the MAEDF funding, approximately 700 learners from Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board received financial support towards the costs associated with undertaking their programme of study, e.g. transport, meals, rent, ICT and class materials.
Furthermore, a total of 31 Cavan/Monaghan community projects received grants. The projects spanned all age-groups and included youth/senior groups, traveller groups, refugee groups, and community groups. Through the funding received, these groups will support the wider community with particular benefit to learners who are disadvantaged through poverty, disability, learning difficulties, rural isolation, cultural and language barriers, unemployment and those with limited or no technology.
The counties of Cavan and Monaghan have a large rural population with a significant amount of people who are currently experiencing barriers to learning due to many factors. There are many individuals for whom online and/or remote learning has not been an option through lack of technology (high speed broadband), inadequate facilities, lack of financial resources or IT illiteracy. New technologies and supports provided by the MAEDF will lessen the inequality they currently experience due to lack of IT skill or access to IT/digital services and other supports. Learners, and others who have the skills but do not have the facilities at home will now have local options to assist in their learning.