Aontú Education Spokesperson and Representative for East Derry Gemma Brolly has condemned the undermining of Irish Language Development across the North.
“I developed my love of the Irish language at secondary level and I was lucky enough to avail of tuition in Irish to A-levels. I’m extremely disappointed to learn that pupils across the North are being denied the same opportunities that I had. There is a surge of interest in the Irish language with over 7,000 children in Irish Medium Education, but there’s a big gap in the provision for language acquisition through English medium schools, from Primary level upwards” confirms Brolly.
“There are established cognitive advantages of learning additional languages, yet the Department of Education does not seem to wish to support and foster this interest in bilingualism.”
“There appears to be a policy of undermining the language. Last year, Aontú notified CCEA of our disappointment and disapproval at the decision to remove the spoken element of the Irish language exam. A few months later, we have a situation where pupils are being forced to drop the Irish language altogether. This is completely unacceptable. I have already contacted a number of organisations to express my disappointment and to offer our support in reversing this affirmed Brolly; adding
“We in Aontú will strive to ensure all young people have the opportunity to continue their studies of the Irish language, as is their right in accordance with the United Nations Convention.”