Conradh na Gaeilge congratulates A-Level students, but calls on the Department of Education to put greater emphasis on languages at secondary level
Conradh na Gaeilge highly commends the excellent results students have achieved in Irish at A-Level in the north, results which were announced today (Thursday, 13 August 2015) and which once again display the very high level of Irish being taught in secondary schools in the north. Conradh na Gaeilge believes the students themselves deserve enormous praise for their success, as well as their teachers – be it in the English- or Irish-medium education systems – but Conradh na Gaeilge is calling upon the Department of Education to ensure continuous support and training for those teachers in the future.
Niall Comer, Lecturer of Irish at Ulster University, and Tánaiste of Conradh na Gaeilge, says:
“It is evident from the standard of marks received today that Irish teachers in the north are doing great work. Looking at the entry figures for the University for the coming academic year, it is certain that there is a huge demand for Irish at third level. We have a role to provide a high level of education at Ulster University and through Conradh na Gaeilge, we aim to ensure students are assisted in terms of language rights, further training opportunities and employment prospects upon finishing their degree.”
But Niall Comer also highlighted the importance of languages being recognised as compulsory subjects, as STEM subjects, in secondary schools, and said that the current system is not only failing the Irish language, but all languages in general. He said:
“The government must now provide the correct support and provision for Irish at second level. Conradh na Gaeilge has an education policy in the north which recommends:
Ní mór anois don rialtas faoi dheireadh an tacaíocht cheart a chur ar fáil don Ghaeilge ag an dara leibhéal. Tá beartas oideachais ag Conradh na Gaeilge ó thuaidh a mholann gur cheart:
- languages should be included as STEM subjects at GCSE Level and as a result, every secondary level student will study a language, in addition to English, at GCSE level; and
- provision of second level education through the medium of Irish should be developed in areas where there is demand for such, and an adequate numbers of teachers should be available to service those schools.”
Edel Ní Bhraonáin, Third Level Student Coordinator for Conradh na Gaeilge, says:
“Conradh na Gaeilge is delighted that so many young people will be continuing with Irish at third level. Universities are a source of high level education to equip our young people for working life, which is very important as the Irish language public sector continues to grow. Conradh na Gaeilge provide specific support the running and directing of third level Irish-language societies and we recommend that both new and current students become active in these societies whilst at University. There are plenty of upcoming events for these societies in the coming months and we would love to see as many students as possible taking part.
“If you are not planning on continuing on to third level education there are many other ways in which you can be an active part in the Irish language community. We call on all young people to be actively involved in the Irish language and to be participant in events and in their own society.”
Pádraig Ó Tiarnaigh
Communications, Language Protection and Representation Executive
Edel Ní Bhraonáin,
Third Level Student Coordinator for Conradh na Gaeilge