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Peter Pan sa Taibhdhearc

November 27, 2012

Turning of sod for Coláiste Ailigh

November 27, 2012

A new building for an all-Irish second level school which caters for 350 pupils in the heart of Letterkenny is due to be completed by 2014 under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model.

The turning of the sod ceremony for the new Coláiste Ailigh building took place at Knocknamona/Carnamuggagh, Letterkenny on Friday, last. Construction on the new school building will begin immediately on the 8.8 acre site.

Coláiste Ailigh was established in 2000. The school falls under the remit of County Donegal VEC and is currently located in temporary rented accommodation at High Road, Letterkenny.

The chairperson of the VEC, Martin Farren said that Coláiste Ailigh has gone from strength to strength in Letterkenny and that he envisaged the college to be a centre of excellence for Irish language education in Letterkenny.


TV advert ideas sought by ‘Foinse’

November 27, 2012

STUDENTS are being encouraged to get their creative juices flowing and come up with ideas for a television advert to promote Bliain na Gaeilge, a yearlong festival in 2013 to celebrate the Irish language.

The competition, being run by TG4 and Irish language newspaper ‘Foinse’, which is published with the Irish Independent on Wednesdays, is open to students at both second and third-level. The deadline for entries is Friday.


Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills, addresses Annual Conference of Gaelscoileanna and Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta

November 27, 2012

Major changes for Irish and Irish-medium education signalled

Changes to the curriculum in Irish in Irish-medium and mainstream schools, compulsory oral Irish tests at junior cycle, the expansion of Irish-medium schooling, and improvements in Irish in teacher education are among the major developments signalled by Sean Ó Foghlú, Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills today.

In a wide-ranging speech to the joint annual conference of Gaelscoileanna and Eagraíocht na Scoileanna Gaeltachta in Galway, Mr Ó Foghlú said that the Department of Education and Skills was fully committed to implementing the ambitious actions in the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language.

The Department has prioritised key areas for action, including steps to increase the supply of Irish-medium schooling and the provision of better curricula for Irish in Irish-medium and mainstream schools.

Mr Ó Foghlú said, “The Department of Education and Skills will strive, over the life-time of the Strategy, to make Irish-medium education available to all students whose parents wish to avail of it.”

He cited the current process of divesting primary schools in areas of stable populations as an opportunity which could see more schools to operate as gaelscoileanna, should there be parental demand.

At post-primary level he said, “We will continue to identify areas where there is a need for a new gaelcholáiste in accordance with a threshold of demand of 400 pupils which is considerably lower than the equivalent 800 for English medium schools. We are also conscious of the need to explore the potential of other options such as Irish language units and Irish language streams.”

Mr Ó Foghlú also noted that substantial change was underway in initial teacher education. The changes are intended to strengthen the teaching of Irish in colleges and to ensure that teachers’ standards of Irish and their ability to teach the language are enhanced.

The Secretary General said that the Literacy and Numeracy strategy of the Department had recognised the need to revise the curriculum at primary and post-primary level and that this work was underway at the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.

“We expect that the oral language test will be a compulsory part of the new syllabus and assessment requirements for Irish, in accordance with the implementation of the Framework for Junior Cycle launched last month by Minister Quinn,” he said.

In parallel at junior cycle, an optional additional short course in advanced Irish would be made available to use by students in Irish-medium and Gaeltacht schools; this has been a long-standing demand of Irish-medium education interests.

“Such a short course would allow students in Irish-medium schools to study and gain credit for an ability in the language at a significantly advanced level,” he said.

Mr Ó Foghlú also announced that the Department had decided to integrate An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) under the aegis of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA).

“These new arrangements will allow COGG to concentrate its resources on its core functions of providing teaching resources to support the teaching of Irish in tandem with the NCCA’s work on revising the curriculum. The general administrative functions, which are a considerable burden on a small staff, will now be provided by the NCCA,” he stated.

In this new arrangement, COGG will retain a separate identity under the aegis of the NCCA. The move will strengthen its ability to support Irish-medium education and the teaching of Irish generally.

€661,071 sanctioned for the promotion of the Irish Language in November 2012

November 21, 2012

The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has sanctioned the collective value of €661,071 to bodies, groups and clubs based both within and outside the Gaeltacht.

This funding will go towards projects which are currently in development in the Gaeltacht areas of Co. Kerry, Co. Galway, Co. Donegal and Co. Waterford. The highest quantity of grants went to youth organisations and Summer Colleges with a value of €61,634 going to 11 Irish colleges across the country and €18,787 of that going to Coláiste Chiaráin in An Cheathrú Rua.

Minister of State Dinny McGinley sanctioned €5,000 to support the development of the Rugby Training Scheme in Corca Dhuibhne for the 2012/13 school year and €6,965 to the Gaoth Dobhair Scouts Club to buy camping equipment.

Among the larger grants which were sanctioned this month was a sum of €74,738 to Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta in Galway to found a new archive at Áras Shorcha Uí Ghuairim, Carna, Galway of material broadcast by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta since its inception in 1971. It is hoped that the newly developed archive will comprise material which has national and international value.

A further €470,000 was awarded to aid the development of www.abair.ie, a research project at Trinity College Dublin. Watch this video to learn more about this project: Gaelport.com

In terms of Arts funding, the Minister of State sanctioned €4,475 to Scoil Cheoil Shliabh Liag to enable the committee to pay the costs of children’s music classes in the area. As well as that, €8,000 went to ‘Crann Óg’, na Doirí Beaga, Donegal to help promote the arts in the local area and €750 went to the committee of Machaire’s Junior Band in order to buy new instruments.

Among the other grants announced were €9,471 to the committee of Ionad Pobail Charraig Uí Bhaoill to buy a lawn mower and €6,082 which went to Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne to buy a photocopier and two projectors.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport

Comhaltaí nua bhord UnaG

November 21, 2012

Gaeilge chun tosaigh i bhforógra na nÓg

November 21, 2012

Gairmeacha le Gaeilge i Machaire Rátha

November 21, 2012

Au Pair le Gaeilge

November 20, 2012

Young people of Ireland declare daring strategy to improve state of the nation

November 20, 2012

Legislation for the X case, a referendum on abortion, and a new approach to teaching Irish are among a list of proposals contained in a declaration unveiled by young people at a presidency seminar on Saturday.

President Michael D Higgins and 100 people aged 17 to 26 convened in Áras an Uachtaráin to consider the drafting of the “Take Charge of Change” declaration, the culmination of a six-month nationwide engagement with more than 700 young people.

The process, initiated by Mr Higgins in May, also resulted in the publication of a report titled Being Young in Ireland 2012. The report formed the basis of Saturday’s declaration and reveals concerns about employment, the future of the economy, political reform, citizen participation and education for a full life.

In particular it highlights a desire among young people to see greater equality and a wider acceptance of diversity in Irish society. It recommends diversity training in schools and calls for the drafting of a Constitution which “represents all members of our society regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation”.
The declaration was delivered before Mr Higgins, Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald and representatives of various State agencies.

It states: “Our vision for Ireland is [of] a secular, inclusive, multilingual, confident State with excellent and universally accessible education, health and social support systems; an Ireland of which we can be proud on the global stage; a place where people, arts, culture, heritage, sport and the Irish language are nurtured and developed.”

It outlines a vision of community co-operation, active citizenship and a “place where human rights are valued; where there is an acceptance and celebration of all citizens and where all people have equality of access, equality of opportunity in society and in the State”.

Afterwards the President said “any president of any country in the world would be enormously proud of the presentation”. He praised the focus on social justice, education, and the promotion of diversity.

“If anyone is in any doubt now about the myth that’s going around that young people are disengaged, disaffected and cynical, well there is your answer,” he added.

He expressed his wish that the proposals got a real, rapid and positive response at every level of politics and within institutions of State. “It must not be a lost conversation, a lost consultation,” he said.

The wide-ranging declaration called on legislators to extend equal marriage and adoption rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It also urged the Government to increase its engagement with the diaspora by extending voting rights to emigrants.

The young people called for reform of the Leaving Certificate, saying the points system and emphasis on rote learning failed to prepare students for “active citizenship”.
Ms Fitzgerald said the submissions were inspiring. “Having your voice heard and bringing about change are not easily achieved,” she added.

She praised the participants for making a positive start in attempting to bring about change and promised to “work with the Government and the President to make sure full attention is given to your findings”.

She said she would study the views with a particular interest in drawing on them for the young people’s strategy, currently being drafted, and would pass on relevant proposals to the appropriate authorities.

Yesterday youth organisation spunout.iecalled on the Government to take action on the proposals or “risk alienating young people further from the democratic process”.
Declaration main proposals
Adopt a dual approach to teaching Irish at Leaving Certificate level: the first (compulsory) subject focused on speaking, the second (optional) subject focused on literature, driven by foundation of Gaelscoileanna.

Legislate for the X case.

Develop social opportunities for the Irish language.

Make marriage equality and adoption rights a reality.

Legislate for absentee voting for citizens outside of their constituencies and abroad.

Begin a campaign by young people to promote active citizenship.

Provide CAO points recognition for volunteering and community involvement.

Sustain and increase funding to the youth sector.

Reform Leaving Certificate (hands-on class participation) and opportunities for lifelong learning.

Empower local government so our national representatives do not engage in parochial politics.

Provide dedicated classes in primary and post primary schools to educating young people on diversity, tolerance and acceptance.

Provide more funding for special education needs and broaden IT curriculum at second level.

Pursue a secular Irish State.

Reform curriculum at second level to include greater emphasis on political education.

Create a graduate employment scheme based on relevant skills (not Job Bridge).


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