EXTRA teaching positions are to be created in NI to help disadvantaged children catch up with learning lost during the Coronavirus lockdown.
It is part of the £11.2 millon Engage programme announced by Education Minister Peter Weir in June.
He said the additional qualified teachers will enable schools to provide teaching support for “those pupils who stand to benefit the most”.
Mr Weir said he was “very conscious” of the anxiety caused by school closures.
Schools in the North of Ireland closed to all but a few pupils in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Department of Education said the funding will enable all primary and post primary schools to provide additional teaching support for pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Mr Weir said his Stormont Executive colleagues were aware of “the potential long lasting impact in terms of pupil achievement”.
“The Engage programme will provide vital assistance to schools as they seek to address the needs of our children and young people during this unique year,” he said.
“I am determined that, during what has been a most challenging time, every pupil in Northern Ireland should receive the support they need to help them engage with learning, to enhance wellbeing to ensure that they can all reach their full potential.”
The scheme is due to run until March 2021.
But the Education Minister said that he hoped to secure a further £4.8 million to allow the programme to continue until the end of the school year.