Monday, 22 March 2021
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I have been contacted by a number of parents and students who have been impacted by the lack of broadband. These students cannot access their courses or lectures at university due to a lack of broadband or poor quality broadband. Parents scrimped and saved to pay the €3,000 fee to enable their son or daughter to attend college. Unfortunately, this did not happen due to Covid-19 and now they are having difficulty accessing lectures or other material because of poor or non-existent broadband.
It is now March and students are becoming anxious as their examinations approach. They are concerned that having missed so many lectures through no fault of their own, they may fail their exams or not do as well as they normally would because of poor broadband. The matter is beyond the control of students and parents. I call on the Minister and the colleges to clearly state what they are doing or will do for students who find themselves in this position. It is unfair to them and they should not have their future interfered with because of poor quality broadband. I would like some clarity from the Minister and the colleges as to what they can do to assist young people who cannot access their course material because of poor broadband or, in many cases, a lack thereof.