Irish Medium Education thrives in the city of Derry

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Oísín MacEo – Gaelscoil na Daróige – Máire Mhic Lochlainn – Bunscoil Colmchille – Mary Nic Ailín – Gaelscoil Eadáin Mhóir

Conor Stiobhard – Oifigeach CnaG

Irish Medium Education thrives in the city

Irish-medium education (IME) continues to thrive across the north of Ireland and Derry City is no exception to the rule. Figures received by Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta from the Education Authority provide clear evidence of the continued and sustained growth of the IME sector. This growth reflects not only the success of the pupils within the sector, but also the ever-growing number of parents seeking to avail of the benefits of bilingual education for their children. Irish medium schools have continued to grow and flourish in recent years. Principals of the 3 local schools have been working together since the summer months to ensure the provision continues to grow. They met in Foyleside Shopping Centre to celebrate the growth of the sector.

In September 2016 over 700 children entered P1. This is the highest number ever in the IME sector – P1 enrolments are up from 447 children in 2011, a growth of 57% in the IME primary schools alone! Speaking on behalf of Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta, Conor Stiobhard (Advisory Officer) stated that, ‘Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta is delighted at the continued growth in Irish-medium education. As we look forward, it is a source of great comfort to the sector that an increasing number of families are enjoying the benefits of bilingualism and the Irish language not only here in Derry but throughout the north.’

The growth in the Irish-medium education is clear for all to see, with a 45% increase in total enrolments over a five-year period. September 2016 witnessed c. 6000 children being educated daily through the medium of Irish and it is anticipated that those numbers will continue to rise – there are currently 88 IME providers across Nursery, Primary and Post-primary levels.

As the vast majority of IME schools are independent and either multi or non-denominational, increasing numbers of children are being attracted from all communities and backgrounds – it is clear that the benefits of bilingualism are open to all across the north.

If you would like more information on Irish-medium education or to register your child with an IME school, contact Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta: 02890321475 or visit our website: www.comhairle.org.

Open Nights will take place in the 3 city schools over the next few weeks and staff would like to encourage as many people as possible to attend.

Naíscoil & Gaelscoil Éadain Mhóir, 128 Lecky Road, 02871268020: Thursday 1st December 2016 at 6pm.

Naíscoil Dhoire & Bunscoil Cholmcille,40a Steelstown Road, Tuesday 6th December 2016 @ 6.30pm

Naíscoil Mhaol Íosa & Gaelscoil na Daróige, Coshquin Road, Ballymagroarty, Wednesday 7th December 2016 @ 6.30pm