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Which school?

January 6, 2017

That time again. This week parents will be putting in applications for places in different types of schools. It is a difficult decision. I have wide experience in schools both here in Ireland and in Scotland and I have to say that it would be difficult to find any better than the English medium schools here in Derry with regard to educational standards and the enthusiasm of the teachers. So I would not order a parent ‘Send your child to an Irish medium school.’ Parents should discuss the matter and come to a sensible decision. I know I am biased, but I would say that a Gaelscoil has advantages that other schools do not have. The website gaelscoileanna.ie points out some of these advantages, for example, according to research, bilingual children are more attentive, they are better at undertaking tasks, and they have more effective listening and communication skills.

Irish medium primary schools in Derry do very well despite one huge disadvantage: the three of them are accommodated in temporary buildings, although the parents are fighting hard to change that situation. Parents are very supportive of Irish nursery education in the city. Two out of the three nursery schools have taken in maximum numbers over the past few years.

The same can be said of post-primary education in Derry as has been said about primary education: first rate facilities and first rate teachers in every school. Parents must choose the school most suited to their child’s needs. Children who have been studying in an Irish medium school and who wish to continue learning through Irish are very fortunate. The Irish medium stream in Saint Brigid’s College is going from strength to strength. It is accommodated in a modern building in a progressive school under the direction of a highly experienced staff.

Incidentally, Irish medium education is also advancing in Inishowen. At present, Charlie Mc Connelogue TD is putting pressure on the Minister of Education to locate an Irish nursery school, primary school and secondary school on the one site in Buncrana.

Read more at: http://www.derryjournal.com/news/opinion/cen-scoil-1-7759857