The Government’s new Policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017 - 2022 will be launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Education Minister Richard Bruton, and Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs, Seán Kyne, in An Cheathrú Rua, tomorrow.
The policy, which will be launched in Scoil Mhic Dara, forms a central part of the 20 year strategy for Gaeilge and sets out the Department of Education’s vision for “the provision of a quality education through Irish in Gaeltacht schools”. It is drawn from public consultation with Gaeltacht communities and research with linguistic and educational experts.
Measures contained within the new policy include supports specifically designed for and targeted at Irish speakers; new ‘total immersion’ approach whereby all subjects, apart from English, will be taught through Irish, and a specific policy of not teaching English in the first two-years of primary school; a requirement that Gaeltacht schools plan for and deliver different Irish language provision to learners who are native speakers and learners of the language; supports for teacher training to enhance the supply of Irish language teachers; introduction of dedicated continuing professional development opportunities for teachers in Gaeltacht schools; specific supports for Gaeltacht school principals and management; reform of the Irish language curriculum to reflect the different needs of Irish-medium schools and English-medium schools.
The measures will be supported by annual additional resources that will be ring-fenced for schools recognised as Gaeltacht schools.
“The continued existence of areas where Irish is the language of the community is essential to the preservation and the revitalisation of the language,” said Minister Kyne, who is also Galway West TD for Fine Gael. “Central to this is the education system in Gaeltacht areas. By supporting Gaeltacht schools, we can in turn support the use of Irish as the language of the family and community in Gaeltacht areas.”