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Fostering Excellence in Irish-medium Education at GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. Annual Conference

November 22, 2009

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. welcomed Assistant Chief Inspector with the Department of Education and Science, Éamonn Murtagh, who opened this year’s annual education conference.

Speaking this morning, Murtagh said “The Department of Education and Science supports the principle aim of the all-island policy on immersion education which will be officially launched this evening”.

President of GAELSCOILEANNA TEO., Mícheál Ó Broin welcomed Murtagh’s statement along with the recommendation that all the models of immersion education listed in the policy be investigated with a view to implementaion.

In referring to the current economic climate, Ó Broin stated,”We understand very well the appauling state of our economy and the subsequent pressure on the Department of Education and Science, but we ask of the Department and of this Government to develop a mechanism that will safeguard our schools against future threats”. Ó Broin expressed the strong support of the sector and of the schools for COGG and the vital work undertaken by COGG. He demanded accordingly that recommendations made by Mc Carthy are not implemented, but instead that the appropriate resources and supports are made available for the development of COGG.

The Conference keynote address, delivered by Dr. Muiris Ó Laoire, focused on the importance of developing language awareness in the Irish-medium classroom. Ó Laoire illustrated how language awareness fosters curiosity in learners, which in turn fosters a desire to learn and consequently grammatical accuracy is heightened.  He referred to recent research findings which confirm that levels of language awareness are higher in Irish-medium schools than in English-medium schools.

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. launched the all-island Policy on immersion education today which will become a very useful resource for schools in developing their school policies. “We are delighted to have reached this historical point where we are celebrating the development of an all-island policy on immersion education and we are confident that it will act as an impetus for increased collaboration on the development of the Irish-medium education sector between organisations on an all-island basis, ” said Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, Chief Executive of the organisation.

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO.’s Annual Conference was hosted in Kilkenny City where the strong representation of Irish-medium schools and the Irish-speaking community added greatly to the success of the conference.

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. is the national co-ordinating body for schools teaching through the medium of Irish. It helps parents and local groups to set up new schools and supports the established all-Irish schools.

Open Day at Marino Institute of Education

November 18, 2009

Interested in becoming a Primary School Teacher?

Places available on B. Ed Degree & Higher Diploma in Education (Primary) courses

Coláiste Mhuire, Marino Institute of Education, Griffith Avenue, Dublin 9.

Open day

Saturday, 21st November 2009

11 a.m – 4.00 pm.

For more information: Contact Irene Kelly at 01-8057730 or Irene.kelly@mie.ie

An Bord Snip Nua ignore recommendations of the Department of Education and Science

October 8, 2009

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. expressed disbelief at the decision of the Special Group to ignore the Department of Education and Science’s recommendations in relation to An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG).

Information brought to light by an application by TG4 under freedom of information to the Department of Education and Science revealed that the department objected to the Special Group’s recommendation that COGG be absorbed into the department itself or into the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment at a saving of €1.2 million to the state coffers.

The Department of Education and Science advised that COGG’s good work should continue in its present format.  Despite this recommendation, the department’s concern that pupil and teacher rights in the Irish-medium and Gaeltacht sectors would be discriminated against and that supports for Irish-medium education would suffer, went unheeded. The integrity of the Group’s report must therefore be called into question.

Not only has the department exposed an infringement upon the rights of the citizens of Ireland, they have also illustrated how difficult and challenging in practical terms it would be to dissolve COGG.  They have shown that no money would be saved by doing this, as the service would need to be continued and staff would have to be recruited to provide this service. The Department of Education and Science’s recognition and support for COGG’s statutory functions and for its effectiveness is a huge source of relief to GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. and to the Irish-medium sector in general.

Bláthnaid ní Ghréacháin, Chief Executive Officer with GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. commented “It’s difficult to believe that the Special Group would go against the recommendations of the department responsible for Irish-medium education. This new information which has come to light proves that the Irish-speaking public is justified in its lack of confidence in the recommendations of this report regarding Irish and Irish-medium education. It is clear that they are based on ignorance and a lack of awareness of rights and of governmental promises as well a total lack of awareness of basic requirements to protect our culture and heritage”.

Referring to the lobbying campaign against the proposals to discontinue COGG, she said “GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. would like to thank every school and every individual who helped with this campaign. The feedback received shows that schools and parents believe that this move would prove disastrous. We urge you to continue lobbying and we are confident that the Taoiseach will instruct that full support be provided to the Irish-medium education sector”.

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. is the national co-ordinating body for schools teaching through the medium of Irish. It helps parents and local groups to set up new schools and supports the established all-Irish schools. There are 170 primary schools and 39 secondary schools currently providing education through the medium of Irish.

Free School Furniture Available!

September 8, 2009

GAELSCOILEANNA TEO. have free school furniture available. Don’t miss this opportunity as the furniture cannot be stored for much longer. It’s available to collect in Dublin. Here’s the list of what’s available:

  • Lockers
  • Desks
  • 3-Drawer pedestals for a desk
  • Computer trolleys
  • Chairs
  • Bookshelves
  • Presses
  • Folders
  • Coat hangers

If you are interested in anything on the list or for more information, contact us in the office on 01-8535195.

Seminar on Early Childhood Education through Irish

September 2, 2009

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 (Swine Flu): Information

September 1, 2009

The Department of Health & Children is providing regular updates and advice on the outbreak of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009. These updates are available from the Department of Health & Children’s website.

The Department of Education & Science has prepared an information leaflet for schools, colleges and education centres on the Flu and it is available by clicking here.

The HSE provide information and advice on the Flu at www.swineflu.ie.

The CPSMA’s website provides very comprehensive information and guidelines. See www.cpsma.ie or view the document prepared for principals by clicking here.

Campaign Supporting COGG

August 8, 2009

Lobby against recommendations of An Bord SNIP Nua to discontinue COGG

An Bord Snip Nua made the detrimental recommendation to discontinue An Chomhairle um Oideachais Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG). The recommendation demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of COGG’s functions as well as achievements to date since its inception in 2002.

Significant work has been undertaken by COGG in the field of Gaeltacht and Irish-medium education on a very limited budget and it is evident that value for money is being delivered by COGG in its support of primary and post-primary Gaeltacht and all-Irish schools in the country. Since 2002 COGG has provided 111 primary school resources, 32 post-primary school resources (excluding state examination booklets), with 41 resources being currently developed. In terms of research outputs, 16 research works have been completed, with 20 more on-going.

The following lists outlines the resources/activities that will no longer be available to primary and post-primary Irish-medium schools if this recommendation is implemented:

  • Textbooks in Irish other than those that An Gúm publish
  • Irish versions of the mock exams for Junior Cert and Leaving Cert
  • Booklets of past Irish versions of the State Examinations
  • Management of the project Séideán Sí
  • Online resources for Science and Digital media through Irish (being developed)
  • Online forum for teachers in Irish
  • Notes and support resources in Irish for teachers
  • Online database of resources through Irish
  • Information booklet on all resources for teaching through Irish at primary and second level
  • COGG information services including their website and travelling Irish resource library
  • Workshops for teachers
  • Intensive Irish courses for teachers teaching in Gaeltacht & all Irish second level schools
  • Research on topics related to teaching through Irish
  • Representation on behalf of second level school on Dept of Education, NCCA & other agencies
  • Posters, maps, globes etc in Irish
  • Distribution of the magazine Breacadh

The general public has been given the deadline of 11 September to make submissions to the Minister for Education and Science as well as the General Secretary on any of the recommendations made in the report.

Help us with this campaign by forwarding a letter of petition to the Minister and the General Secretary by 11 September 2009 indicating your dissatisfaction with this detrimental recommendation to Irish-medium education. Feel free to use the information in the sample letters below or alternatively you can download these letters, sign and send them on.

Letter to the Minister for Education & Science

Letter to the General Secretary

Guide for Parents

The discontinuation of COGG would undoubtedly be a huge blow to Irish-medium education. Seize the opportunity to challenge this recommendation by supporting this campaign.

Gaelcholáiste na Mara

August 5, 2009

Coláiste Ráithín

August 5, 2009

Meánscoil Gharman

August 5, 2009

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