A homework club for Traveller children from primary school age up to 16 is to be introduced in Ballyhaunis for the next academic year.
Funding has been secured by the Traveller Interagency Forum to roll out the scheme for two academic years and has been described as a “positive way forward” by Niall Sheridan of the County Development Board.
At a meeting of the Claremorris electoral area committee on Tuesday Mr Sheridan said education has been identified as one way to integrate Travellers into the workforce and Ballyhaunis was selected as an area to roll out this scheme. A tutor will assist the children with their homework.
Principal of Ballyhaunis Community School and Fianna Fáil Cllr Pat McHugh said this was a “particularly welcome development”. He said it was important to encourage Traveller children to remain in school for as long as possible. He said there was a culture of Traveller boys leaving education early and without formal education in today’s economic climate they were unemployable. In contrast Cllr McHugh said Traveller girls have done much better at remaining in school, “often in very difficult circumstances”.