Irish-medium Education – Deficiencies, Challenges and Opportunities
Following a number of years petitioning the Department of Education, Gaeloideachas are pleased that the development of a policy for Irish-medium education has begun.
“The development of a policy for Irish-medium education outside of the Gaeltacht is a significantly important step,” said Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, CEO of Gaeloideachas. “Our hope is that this policy will bring equity to those working within the sector and to students with regard to support infrastructure. Through this policy, our hope is that the vision and ambition of the State regarding Irish-medium education will be clarified. Now is the time for us all to ensure that it will be a strong, supportive policy for the development of naíonraí and Irish-medium schools outside of the Gaeltacht.”
16 January is the deadline set by the Department for survey responses and submissions from the public. However, a request by Gaeloideachas for the deadline to be extended to 28 February was rejected. “I believe that the timeframe that has been allocated for this important step in the consultation process is not sufficient for a number of reasons, not least that the Christmas period falls within this timeframe and that the results of two important pieces of work relating to vulnerable groups within the sector, namely naíonraí and Aonaid, are not yet available. Mapping has yet to be completed on the Irish-medium early-years sector and a significant research project on Irish-medium Aonaid is underway. Naíonraí are the cornerstone of this sector and the question of Aonaid is central to this consultation; without those results being available, it is not possible to engage fully with the survey or submissions.”
Gaeloideachas has submitted a recommendation to the Department that informational public meetings should be organised before 16 January, as they were during the development of the Policy on Gaeltacht Education to discuss the scope of the policy and to encourage the community to participate in the consultation process.
Gaeloideachas has begun its own consultation process focusing on the different target groups within the sector. “We hope to run our consultation process collaboratively and in parallel with Irish-language and education bodies and complementary to the Department’s plan to ensure strong participation in the development of a policy that is critical to the development of Irish-medium education.”
Notes for Editor
Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, Ardfheidhmeannach| firstname.lastname@example.org | 01 8535195 | 086-8050335
Mícheál S. Mac Donnacha, Uachtarán | email@example.com | 087-2891544