DIT Pathways Through Education Project secures €212,000 from Dormant Accounts Fund

DIT's 'Pathways Through Education' programme has secured an additional €212,000 from the government's Dormant Accounts Fund. The announcement was made today at a special screening of a short documentary made entirely by pupils participating in the 'Pathways Through Education' programme.

This money will be used to further develop the initiative, which aims to improve both retention in inner-city schools, and access to third level education. Pathways Through Education utilises community and DIT based educational and supportive programmes to provide innovative group interventions within the classroom to increase levels of self-esteem, confidence and motivation among pupils.

The project is an integral part of DIT's Community Links Programme, and is now well established in two Dublininner-city schools; St. Paul's CBS, North Brunswick Street, and Presentation Secondary School, Warrenmount. The Programme originally targeted first year students, but, says Dr. Tommy Cooke, Pathways Through Education Director:

"the project is now set to expand to include second and third year classes, using the additional €212,000 funding secured from the Dormant Accounts Fund, which has been allocated to the Community Links programme by Area Development Management Ltd."

Dr. Cooke goes on to say: "we are also hugely indebted to Fiona Masterson, who spearheaded the application to the Dormant Accounts Fund on behalf of the Pathways Through Education Programme."

The Dormant Accounts Fund, established in 2001, allows for the transfer of money from financial institution accounts that have been inactive for over 15 years, to a centralised fund. This fund is then used for "programmes that are designed to assist the personal, educational and social development of persons who are economically, educationally or socially disadvantaged or persons with a disability."

As part of the Pathways Through Education programme, seven students from St. Paul's CBS were chosen to make their own documentary on the official opening by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, of another DIT Community Links Programme; Dominick Street Digital Community Centre. This is a novel education programme designed to help Dublin's inner-city participate fully in the digital age. It functions as a computer resource centre managed by members of the community who have been trained in the necessary IT and management skills. There are currently 10 other Digital Community Centres in the inner-city area.

The students involved in the DVD project, all residents of Dominick Street, were trained in how to make the documentary from start to finish. The film, which has already received tremendous feedback, had a special screening at St. Paul's CBS, North Brunswick Street, this Thursday, 25th November.

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