Assistance provided for Teagasc Students
Teagasc has confirmed that it is to fund a Covid payment to Teagasc students and provide a Teagasc laptop loan scheme. Similar supports were introduced for third level students in other education institutions as part of a government initiative in Budget 2021, earlier this autumn
COVID payment and Teagasc Laptop Assistance Scheme
To establish parity with comparable learners, Teagasc will now provide in the region of €0.2 million to fund the combined cost of a COVID payment to Teagasc learners and a Teagasc Laptop Assistance Scheme.
Head of Education in Teagasc, Tony Pettit, said: “Teagasc full-time Level 5 and 6 learners have to adjust to the impact of COVID on their education in a manner no different to learners in the wider further and higher education sectors. This new initiative will now give agriculture, horticulture, equine and forestry students in Teagasc the opportunity to avail of comparable supports to students in other third level education. This payment is in recognition of the impact of the COVID pandemic on third level learners. It is also intended to support full-time learners in transitioning to online learning environments.”
The Teagasc initiative was welcomed by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D. who made this a clear priority in recent weeks as he did not want agriculture students to be treated differently. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has been working closely with Teagasc since October to set up this new initiative. Agriculture students are the future generation of Irish farmers and they will be the lifeblood of the farming sector in the future. The adoption of digital technology is continuing at a pace in Irish agriculture and the minister is committed to ensuring Teagasc learners are best equipped to embrace this digital transformation.
Teagasc Director, Prof Gerry Boyle recognised that this had been a very significant issue for Teagasc over recent months and Teagasc had been keen to prioritise funding to helping our learners cope with the disruption to the normal education experience.
Teagasc will make the necessary arrangements for full-time learners who are eligible for a COVID payment. Full-time learners interested in availing of the Teagasc laptop loan scheme should contact their college for details on how to apply.