Schools in the Philippines benefit from DIT's Community Links Programme

In 2003 Dublin Institute of Technology's Community Links Programme donated 45 computers to the Columban Fathers for a number of underprivileged secondary schools in the Tandag Diocese, in the Mindinao region of the Philippines. The donation has made a significant difference to the student's knowledge of IT and has proven to be an international success story for DIT's Community Links Programme.

According to Dr. Thomas Cooke, DIT Community Links Manager, `We are delighted that we can contribute, using DIT resources, to the education and welfare of communities in the third world. We hope to continue this worth while project as schools in Mindinao are in the same position as Ireland was ten years ago with respect to computer resources. We have received requests from other countries in the third world for similar donations of equipment and we would hope to be in a position to facilitate those countries with similar donations.

Saint Augustine's High School in the Philippines was the main recipient of the computers. Over 350 children between 12 and 18 years of age use the computers on a daily basis, along with a number of adults who attend night classes at the school. A further six schools within a 30 mile radius of Saint Augustine's received the remaining computers from the 45 PC's, which were voluntarily reconditioned by Riona Fitzgerald, Dublin Inner-city Schools Computerisation (D.I.S.C.) Project Manger and Donagh Hoolan, Intel.

The Community Links Programme, which aims to address both inner-city, and, to an increasing degree, rural community disadvantage, is delighted with the success of the scheme. The Community Links Programme consists of a number of initiatives, including the Dublin Inner-city Computerisation Project (D.I.S.C.) a collaborative scheme involving the DIT, Dublin Inner City Partnership, National Centre for Technology in Education of the Department of Education and Hewlett Packard. D.I.S.C.s main objective is to upgrade all inner city disadvantaged schools with new computers, peripherals and teacher training. To date 44 schools and 11 high density flat complexes in the inner-city have been upgraded and over 800 teachers have been trained in various IT courses.

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