DIT gives local primary school kids a taste for college life

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February 11th 2010

DIT today made the future look a lot brighter for almost 100 primary school children from Dublin’s South Inner City when they visited the DIT campus on Kevin Street to get their first experience of college life.  

Eamon O’Cuív, Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, joined the group of 11 to 12 year olds who were drawn from a number of national schools in Dublin’s inner city, including St Brigids, the Coombe National School, Mater Dei Primary School, St James’s CBS Primary School and Scoil Treasa Naofa.The young students had the chance to look around DIT’s state-of-the-art facilities, use the science labs, take part in interactive workshops and interact with college lecturers and students. 

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The group got their taster of college life thanks to Enterprise Challenge, an innovative and year-long programme by Junior Achievement Ireland that aims to encourage young people to remain in education and to develop the skills necessary for an entrepreneurial future.

In addition to DIT’s support, the programme involves a number of local organisations and businesses such as Matheson Ormsby Prentice, KPMG, Bank of Scotland (Ireland), Brown Brothers Harriman, Baxter Healthcare and Hostelworld.com.  The collaborative project is designed to positively impact the academic achievement of students in City national schools.

‘‘People from inner city Dublin are very seriously underrepresented in third level education,” said Della Clancy, executive director, Junior Achievement Ireland. ‘‘Many of them don’t do the Leaving Cert, and there is no tradition of them going on to third level.

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An aim of this programme is to demystify third level education in the minds of these inner city kids.  ‘‘The whole idea is to bring them into the college, which is near where they live and go to school, and show them that it is a friendly, interesting and exciting place’ explained Della Clancy, Junior Achievement .

According to Siobhan Daly of DIT’s School of Physics:  “This collaboration offers these kids an amazing experience. It takes them out of their comfort zone and introduces them to different things, and shows them they can go to college and can accomplish things”.

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