Education Election 2022 Government Politics Stormont

Aontú Raise Concerns Over Integrated Education Bill’s Failure to Recognise Diversity.

Aontú’s education spokesperson and East Derry Election candidate, Gemma Brolly, has again raised concerns over the Integrated Education Bill’s failure to recognise the beauty of diversity.

Brolly states “Aontú have made their position on Integrated Education extremely clear from the beginning of this process. We believe Integrated Educated is a wonderful component of the pluralist education system. It offers parents and children a key option and as a pluralist party we fully support this diversity in education.”

“We do not support efforts to mislead the public or attempts to elevate one particular component of the education system above all others. In reality, the Integrated Education Bill has been built upon a contradictory premise. This underlying requirement that the student must drop their faith at the door blatantly contradicts the anti-bias approach promoted by Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education: an “anti-bias approach that challenges and informs the way we do school-through the curriculum, in the classroom and across the community.”

I have had many disgruntled members of the public contact me to express their deep concerns. These constituents represent the very ‘sectors’ Integrated Education is supposed to unite” states Brolly.

“The introduction of a Bill that compels pupils to leave their faith at the door is just a form of state sponsored bias. Deleting the choice of Catholic, Protestant and any other education is the opposite of pluralism and diversity. It robs parents of the choice of ethos and excellent educational systems. This neither challenges or informs in the classroom and across the community.

Education is not a one size fits all sector. Parents should not be denied access to a particular educational ethos that they feel is central to the development of their child. We must develop mutual respect, we must nurture efforts to listen to one another, to be able to debate and understand, to identify, agree and differ in opinions respectfully. Aontú will not shy away from this. An education system that favours one ethos above all others, is an affront to pluralism and diversity, it erases parental choice. We will not allow our schools to be scapegoated as the cause for division among communities. A truly integrated education system must respect and not seek to delete ethos. There can be no hierarchy of educational ethos: Catholic, Protestant, Multi-faith based, Irish-medium or Integrated. There must be room in our society for all.”


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