A new school model, Pathways in Technology (P-TECH), will launch in three schools in north-east inner-city Dublin to provide the students with more opportunities in the workforce and access to third level education.
The P-TECH model is a six-year public education initiative that combines secondary school education with elements of third level education and work experience such as apprenticeships.
The model is designed to give participating students the qualifications and work experienced required to get employment in the digital economy or as an aid to move on to further or higher education.
Three schools in Dublin’s north-east inner-city sector will take part in the pilot initiative, Larkin Community College, Marino College and St Joseph’s CBS. The programme has no entrance exams or requirements and the starting stage of entrance will be open to second year students.
P-TECH was first developed in Brooklyn, New York in 2011 to create a link between second level, third level and career in IT. The model was created with the intent of giving public schools access to jobs in private industries.
These industries partners back the programme and the students to give them more working opportunities.
In Ireland, the three secondary schools will work with the National College of Ireland as the first third level partner. IBM, Virgin Media and Cisco are among some of the initial industry partners who will back the programme.
Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, said at the launch and announcement of the programme on Friday November 16th that these students are “getting a unique opportunity through the pilot P-TECH model.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also expressed his delight at the model being launched in schools in this area. He hopes that “the entire community will benefit” from the student’s participation.
Enrollment for the model opens in March 2019 and the first classes of the pilot will begin in September of that year in the three participating schools.
Ireland houses many of the top technology firms in the world including Apple, Facebook and the European Headquarters of Google.
Image credit: Merrion Street