A new e-learning initiative has been launched which will enable Irish language students to access greater subject choices through virtual learning.Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh T.D. launched the Gaeltacht Irish-medium e-Hub pilot project today at Gairmscoil Mhic Dhiarmada, Arranmore. He explained how the project involves online courses, taught through the medium of Irish by e-Teachers based in other Gaeltacht areas.Minister McHugh said: “This innovative digital project will provide Gaeltacht post-primary students with the opportunity to access online a greater range of subjects through the medium of Irish. “This three-year pilot project is based on comprehensive research completed on similar e-learning initiatives globally, where students supplement their existing curriculum with online courses, when those subjects are not available in their own school.“This digital project will greatly enhance the capacity of Gaeltacht post-primary schools to extend their curricular provision for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).”Planning for the pilot project commenced in two Gaeltacht post-primary schools from September 2018 – Coláiste na Coiribe in Galway and Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne in Kerry. Almost 50 Transition Year students participated in a five-week Transition Year Physics Module through the medium of Irish where they gained first-hand experience of virtual learning.Following a tendering process, the consultancy firm H2 Learning is assisting the Gaeltacht Education Unit in the Department of Education and Skills in managing and co-ordinating this digital project. The Minister said, “I am very pleased to be here today to launch this exciting innovative project. This project demonstrates the important role which information and communications technology (ICT) can play in extending the range of curriculum subjects through the medium of Irish for Gaeltacht post-primary students, including those who attend island schools.”“I would like to congratulate all those involved in this project: officials of my Department, H2 Learning, the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG), SciFest and in particular the students and teachers who are involved in the implementation of the project in schools. I wish all those who will participate in the online Leaving Certificate Physics Pilot Project from September 2019 every success and I trust that there will be a beneficial outcome for all students involved.”The online course will be taught by two Physics e-Teachers with experience in the teaching of Leaving Certificate Higher-Level Physics through the medium of Irish. The e-Teachers will be based in their own post-primary Gaeltacht schools and will teach students across a number of other post-primary schools in the Gaeltacht. Four schools have applied to participate from September.Students who are participating in the pilot project will be supported by e-Mentors in their own post-primary schools. E-mentors are members of the teaching staff with science or mathematics expertise who will support students during the lesson times.Feedback from those participating in the pilot Transition Year Physics module has been very positive, according to the Department of Education. Students and e-Mentors have reported that they have enjoyed and benefitted from the experience of learning at a distance in an interactive way during the Physics online lessons. This online Leaving Certificate Higher-Level Physics will be entirely through the medium of Irish. Additional support will be provided to participating post-primary schools to include a grant for digital equipment and additional hours for e-Mentors.Gaeltacht e-Hub pilot project launched by Education Minister was last modified: April 1st, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:educationGaeltacht Irish-medium e-Hub pilot projectMinister Joe McHugh
CALGARY – Calgary is wrestling with how to get public input, and what question to ask in a plebiscite, as timelines tighten on bidding for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games.A plebiscite, which was a condition of the provincial government contributing money to a bid, will likely be held in November.A council committee overseeing a bid was told by city administration Tuesday a plebiscite can’t happen sooner, or later, than that.The deadline for cities to submit 2026 bid books to the International Olympic Committee is January.The question that will be put to Calgarians is under construction. Mayor Naheed Nenshi would like financial parameters to be included in the question.“It has to be a very simple question,” the mayor said. “Are you in favour of Calgary bidding on the Olympics or not, but it also has to be informed by how much is that going to cost.“Do you support us spending this kind of money on it?”But who is paying for what is a key question still be to fully answered. And there’s a time crunch, as the Calgary bid must have a complete financial breakdown for Calgarians to digest before they go to the voting booths.Committee chair Coun. Evan Woolley said the plebiscite “will be the ultimate arbiter of whether we push the send button on this bid” and “Calgarians need enough time to be able to make that decision.”“It remains an incredibly short runway on timelines,” Woolley said.The Calgary Bid Exploration Committee estimated almost a year ago the 2026 Winter Games will cost $4.6 billion with games revenue covering almost half.How much money will come from the three levels of government and the corporate sector likely won’t be known until September, according to Nenshi.“We should have the cost in June or a little bit later than that,” the mayor said. “What we’re not going to have is what the various contributions are from private sector, from other governments, from the city.“We probably won’t have that until September and that, of course, is critical for the public engagement because people need to know what we’re actually talking about.”The committee, which includes the mayor and six city councillors, declined to recommend holding non-statutory public hearings of council for the games, but asked administration to come back in June with ideas on how Calgarians could still have public input.“If we’re doing a plebiscite, I just think a public hearing is window dressing,” Nenshi stated. “It’s a lot of time, it’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of money to organize that.“It’s very difficult people who are working to come down to (city hall) so you never get a full cross-section of people.”Another variable is work on a bid is slowly transitioning from a city project team to a bid corporation.The bid corporation chair is expected to be named within days and the chief executive officer should be announced within a month, according to Nenshi.The cost of bidding for 2026 is about $30 million, which will be split between the federal and provincial governments and the city if it goes ahead.The plebiscite, which will cost just under $2 million, isn’t included in the bid budget.Nenshi believed the provincial government will contribute funds since the plebiscite was its condition.