Up to 450 schools are set to receive a total of 5,000 new desktop PCs for the teaching of the Design and Communication Graphics (DCG) curriculum.

Under a €6.5 million deal struck by the Department of Education and Skills with computer maker Fujitsu, the new machines will be rolled out to the schools over the next year.

According to Fujitsu, the deal is the largest of its kind that the company has ever concluded in Europe.

The contract was awarded following a competitive tender process.

In June more than 5,400 students took the Leaving Cert exam in DCG, which was introduced into the curriculum eight years ago.

The subject involves principles of science, materials, manufacture, design, technology and information technology and involves the use of 3D graphic design software.