The Gaeltacht e-Hub Project is an innovative digital project that provides post-primary students attending schools in Gaeltacht regions, registered with the Gaeltacht Schools Recognition Scheme, with the opportunity to access a greater range of Senior Cycle subjects online, through the medium of Irish. The project is based on comprehensive research completed on similar e-learning initiatives globally, where students supplement their existing curriculum with online courses, when those subjects are not available in their own school.
The e-Hub Project was launched in April 2019 at Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, Oileán Árainn Mhór (Arranmore Island, Co. Donegal) by Minister Joe McHugh. The Project initially offered Leaving Certificate Physics online, commenced in September 2019, with Leaving Certificate Chemistry added in September 2022. The online courses are taught by four e-Teachers (2 in Physics, 2 in Chemistry) with experience in the teaching of Higher Level Physics and Higher Level Chemistry to Leaving Certificate through the medium of Irish. The e-Teachers are based in their own Irish-medium post primary schools and teach students across a number of post-primary schools in the Gaeltacht. Participating students are supported by e-Mentors in their own post-primary schools.
This is an exciting pilot project that helps students to access subjects through the medium of Irish, that are not available in their own schools. Similar approaches are commonplace in other countries, including Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and North America and now Irish students can avail of similar learning experiences. To date, a total of 13 schools in Gaeltacht regions have enrolled students in the project with a further 2 Gaeltacht schools and 1 Irish-medium school outside the Gaeltacht providing the e-Teachers to the Project. From the teaching, learning and assessment perspective, the focus is on providing students with an engaging and stimulating learning experience throughout the course.
Online classes for students are supplemented by practical days where hands-on experience of performing the Leaving Certificate mandatory experiments in Physics and Chemistry is provided to the students. These occasions also allow the students – widely spread across the 7 counties that include Gaeltacht regions – to meet in person with the e-Teachers and their fellow students.
An independent evaluation (March 2021) of the operation and management of the then Pilot Project, undertaken by the Education and Training Inspectorate, Northern Ireland, identified significant benefits to students and recommended an expansion of the Project. Since the publication of the report, Leaving Certificate Chemistry has been added to the Project. We look forward to working with the Department of Education in developing this exciting Project further into the future.
Meastóireacht neamhspleách ar Thionscadal Píolótach an r-Mhoil - Márta 2021 (PDF)
Independent evaluation of the Gaeltacht e-Hub Pilot Project - March 2021 (PDF)
- Client Name: Department of Education