NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
IRELAND: EDUCATION FUNDING QUERY
The Celtic League has written to the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland to express concern about funding levels for Irish language education.
The issue was raised by Irish delegates of the Celtic League at the AGM held on the Isle of Man in July;
“Minister Mary Coughlan TD
Department of Education and Skills
Dear Minister Mary Coughlan TD
On 30th August 2010 the Irish medium school Gaelscoil Ráthó opened its doors to the public, but did so without receiving funding or recognition from the Department of Education. This has placed a huge financial burden on the parents and founders of the school, who now have to rely on donations and non governmental grants to continue.
We are aware that there is currently a moratorium on the process of state funding of Irish medium primary schools, which has been in place for the past two years while the funding process has been under review. However it seems clear that under the new system the Department of Education now favours, schools will only be funded if they are located in growth areas. What concerns the Celtic League in the case of Gaelscoil Ráthó though is that the school is in a growth area itself, but the government has still chosen not to fund the new school. I would therefore like to ask you, on behalf of the Celtic League, what the reasoning is behind this decision not to fund Gaelscoil Ráthó.
Following our annual general meeting this year I am compelled to express the view of our members that the new government policy of only funding some Irish medium schools if they are set up in certain areas is a deeply worrying development. This new policy will not only hinder efforts to found Irish medium schools across the country, but it will also jeopardise the revival of the language itself. The policy also totally ignores the widespread proven demand for Irish medium education throughout the country, with much of the demand for
new schools arising in areas that are not currently experiencing a population growth. The people who are living in areas that are not experiencing population growth are being unfairly penalised and in effect being discriminated against for wanting to send their children to an Irish medium school.
We therefore request that you put an end to these polices that are threatening the development of the Irish language in Ireland.
The text of the adopted resolution is set out below:
“Eilíonn an Chruinniu Chinn Bhliana seo ar an Roinn Oideachas Eireannach aitheantas a thabhairt do Gaelscoil Ráthó agus deireadh a chur leis an bpolasai atá ag cur bac ar forbairt na Gaelscolaíochta ar fud na tire.”
“This AGM calls on the Irish Department of Education to grant recognition to Gaelscoil Ráthó and put an end to the policies which are preventing the development of Irish Language education throughout the country.”
This article prepared for Celtic News by Rhisiart Tal-e-bot General Secretary
Celtic League. For follow-up comment or clarification contact:
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a
broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on
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