Harris called on to extend Covid-19 education fund to agri students

Extending the Covid-19 education fund to students of agricultural colleges is a key request for Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris, according to Macra na Feirme.

The young farmers’ organisation is seeking an urgent meeting with Minister Harris to discuss extending the recently announced Covid-19 education fund to such agri students.

The fund enables students to purchase laptops, tablets and internet connectivity for remote learning.

Teagasc colleges have almost 6,000 students – and these students have the exact same technological needs as university and institute of technology students, the young farmer organisation asserts.

On a video-call earlier today, Thursday, July 23, representatives from Macra na Feirme met with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity, Pippa Hackett, and Minister of State for Research and Development, Farm Safety and New Market Development, Martin Heydon, to discuss the matters of importance to young farmers.

During this meeting Shane Fitzgerald, Macra na Feirme Agricultural Affairs Committee chairperson, noted the shortcoming in the education fund and urged Minister Calleary to seek access to the fund for agriculture students.

Students in agricultural colleges are facing the same barriers and challenges as those in universities and institutes of technology.

“These students cannot be left without support,” Fitzgerald concluded.