UNDER a nationwide funding package of €5.8m, Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board (WWETB) has been awarded €788,739 under the Mitigating against Educational Disadvantage Fund (MAEDF). This is the third highest figure awarded nationally under this fund.
Over 500 applications for funding were received by SOLAS from local Community Education providers through their local Educations and Training Board.
The fund is in place to prioritise the engagement and re-engagement of learners in the community. Furthermore, the fund aims to address educational disadvantages which may be experienced by learners.
The MAEDF was announced at the end of last year, as part of the 2021 Budget as a method of providing support in particular, to adult learners in the community, who may have a greater need for literacy and numeracy support, together with digital skills.
This funding will directly impact Waterford students under the umbrella of WWETB. Categories where funding will be allocated within Waterford are:
Digital Technologies to facilitate high quality learning and delivery. This will include the delivery of CPD training.
A Learner Assistance Fund will offer appropriate assistance with costs associated with a student’s participation in a course
An Outreach, Engagement and Mentoring Fund will assist with re-engagement services for learners
An Exceptional Circumstances Fund within the community will address educationally disadvantaged learners within a Covid-19 specific fund.
WWETB have welcomed the announcement saying, “the role of Community Education has never been more valuable in Waterford and Wexford. This fund is an opportunity to help people in our local communities to engage or re-engage in education and training, build their confidence, achieve personal fulfillment and be supported to reach their full potential.”
At the announcement of the funding as part of the Budget last year, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris said, “”One of the things that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted was educational inequality – be it a lack of devices like laptops or someone not having the connectivity to study online. The funding I am announcing today is specifically designed to tackle those inequalities and support access to community education.”
The full funding details as allocated to each ETB are as follows:
|ETB||Total MAEDF Funding Allocated|
|Cavan and Monaghan ETB||€520,462|
|City of Dublin ETB||€925,141|
|Dublin and Dun Laoghaire ETB||€134,509|
|Galway and Roscommon ETB||€220,951|
|Kildare and Wicklow ETB||€14,536|
|Kilkenny and Carlow ETB||€27,320|
|Laois and Offaly ETB||€447,801|
|Limerick and Clare ETB||€505,750|
|Longford and Westmeath ETB||€173,638|
|Louth and Meath ETB||€385,777|
|Mayo, Sligo and Leitrim ETB||€274,838|
|Waterford and Wexford ETB||€788,739|