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€8.6m funding for Further Education centres in Kerry

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A new 21,000 sq ft apprenticeship training building will be part of the €3.7m plans for Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB).

Minister Simon Harris TD at Kerry College Listowel with from left: Miriam Galvin Cllr Maria O’Gorman Senator Ned O'Sullivan Cllr Jim Finucane Minister Norma Foley Stephen Goulding Owen O’Donnell Mayor of Listowel Aoife Thornton and Colm McEvoy. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Minister Simon Harris TD visited Kerry College of Further Education and Training (FET) Campus in Monavalley Tralee on Monday with from left: Owen O’Donnell Andrew Brownlee Ioseph Nesto John Herlihy Kasia Lyko Cllr Mike Sheehy Con O’Sullivan Cllr Jim Finucane Minister Norma Foley Elaine Sharp Tom O’Reilly Colm McEvoy and George Emerson. Photo: Don MacMonagle.

Minister Simon Harris TD visited Kerry College of Further Education and Training (FET) Campus in Monavalley Tralee with from left: Maria Brennan Colm McEvoy Cllr Jim Finucane Cllr Deidre Ferris Johnnie Wall Cllr. Terry O’Brien Cllr. Norma Moriarty Minister Simon Harris Minister Norma Foley Mayor of Tralee Cllr Mikey Sheehy Brendan Griffin TD Owen O’Donnell Con O’Sullivan and Betty Corkey. Photo: Don MacMonagle

This Substantial Capital Investment - a total of €8,696,719 - was announced by Simon Harris TD, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science when he visited Kerry College of Further Education and Training (FET) Campuses, in Monavalley Tralee and Listowel yesterday (Monday) under the FET Strategic Infrastructure Upgrade Fund.

This investment will provide new modern facilities for FET staff and learners in both Tralee and Listowel that have traditionally been provided from a building in Listowel shared with Coláiste Na Ríochta post-primary school and rented premises in Tralee.

The announcement for these two projects is part of the first tranche of capital investments under this fund, with 13 projects being funded nationally.

Kerry ETB has become an innovative provider of FET services since their establishment of the first fully integrated college of Further Education and Training in Ireland.

Kerry College of Further Education and Training was established in September 2019 when Kerry ETB integrated the former training centre and post-Leaving Certificate college into a single college structure.

Kerry College’s continued development since 2019 has been a welcomed and positive one for the sector, leading the way in terms of embedding a new approach to a FET provision that is fully aligned to the SOLAS FET Strategy 2020 - 2024 and their vision of the FET College of the Future. The capital investment announcement is a very important step on this journey.

“Both of Kerry ETB’s proposed projects under the SIUF are included in the first phase of projects to be advanced under the initiative," Minister Harris said.

"This is a testimony to Kerry ETB’s strategic vision and commitment to advancing the development of the FET College of the future concept.”

In welcoming this announcement an Cathaoirleach of Kerry ETB, Cllr Jim Finucane thanked Minister Harris.

"This funding is very significant and supports Kerry ETB in its vision of ensuring that the learners of Kerry have access to further education and training opportunities locally. In our ETB Strategy Statement 2018-2022 we emphasised the need to enhance the working and learning environment for staff and learners and this investment announcement is another milestone in working towards achieving this objective."

The Investment announced for the Listowel Campus will provide funding for the refurbishment and expansion of the Building at Clieveragh Business Park, Listowel purchased by the ETB in 2021.

The Kerry College Monavalley Campus is synonymous with the provision of innovative FET programmes and apprentice programmes for decades. The expansion of the campus facilities is very important and this investment is welcomed.

Campus Manager Con O'Sullivan said that Kerry College Monavalley Campus has a long and established tradition of delivering apprenticeship training in Kerry.

"[The] announcement by the Minister will further enhance our training capacity and increase the campus profile from a national context. We view this investment announcement as a vote of confidence in the work we do at Kerry College and we look forward to the completion of these works as we plan for continued development of this Campus"

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Teens theory is a national winner

Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water. Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth […]

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Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water.

Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth Year students from Killarney Community College, were named SciFest STEM Champions 2022 for their Group Theoretic Approach to Pythagoras’ Theorem.

The national finals of SciFest Ireland were held at the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin last Friday and they were attended by finalists from across Ireland.

The amazing trio will now go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) which will be held in Dallas, Texas in May 2023.

The students secured their place at the national final after they won the overall prize at the SciFest regional competition at MTU Kerry in May this year.

Their project takes possibly one of the most well-known theorems that everyone remembers from school, Pythagoras’ Theorem. It provides an alternate proof of it, while also highlighting how right-angled triangles naturally provide a link between two coordinate systems and how this special case can naturally recreate the Pythagorean Theorem.

Supported by Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific, SciFest was set up 17 years ago by Sheila Porter and her husband George.

It is the largest, most inclusive STEM fair programme for second-level students in Ireland.

“The aim of SciFest has always been to develop a love of STEM and of inquiry-based learning and every year it is refreshing to see how the students of today continue to love and enjoy immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and maths,” Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said.

“As SciFest grows each year, we grow more excited to see what new experiments and technologies are thought of and created. This year, students have shown incredible innovation in how STEM can make a positive impact on society, with initiatives in farming, space exploration and healthcare.”

Each year SciFest awards a ‘Teacher of Excellence’ and this year Máire Spillane was the recipient for her work with Luke, Rachel and Liam. She accompanied them to both finals and could not be prouder of this huge achievement at national level.

Killarney Community College held a whole school assembly to congratulate the SciFest champions in school and the SciFest STEM Champions 2022 were met with rapturous applause from all students and staff.

Ms Spillane spoke about the importance of STEM subjects and acknowledged the fact that Killarney Community College offers all students the opportunity to study all four of the disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and how our students are encouraged to submit projects every year into SciFest. It may be a competition run by science teachers, but in KCC cross-curricular co-operation by teachers of all subjects, is practiced on a daily basis.

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Rathmore students look to the future

Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities. The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness […]

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Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities.

The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness Week which was held in schools and other education settings nationwide last week.

The focus throughout the week in their school was to highlight the wide range of options open to them when they leave school and to realise that there are pathways to suit all types of learners.

Students from First to Sixth Year took part in activities to get them thinking about their future plans.

First and Second year students completed a module on ‘My Pathways’ and Third Years had an introductory talk on options after school.

Transition Year students worked on a display on all the options and pathways available after school which will remain up permanently.

Senior Cycle students attended the Careers Fair in Munster Technological University (MTU) where they got a chance to meet universities, colleges of Further Education, agricultural colleges, apprenticeship and more education and training providers from around the country including past sudent Aidan O’Mahony at the stand with An Garda Síochána.

Leaving Cert and LCA students had a really informative talk in school on Further Education and apprenticeships from Ella O’Donoghue, Admissions Officer of Kerry College.

The week finished with a talk for Senior Cycle students on Business and Law options in UCC by Ian Wallace.

“A highlight of the week was the involvement of past students, who sent us video clips on their career stories so far and shared tips with students,” Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor at the school, said.

“It was fabulous to see how well our former students have done and it was really important for our current students to see the diversity of pathways they have taken including apprenticeships, Further Education courses, university, travel, setting up businesses and returning to education as mature students. We are really grateful to the past students who reconnected with us for this week, their input was inspiring and invaluable.”

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