Sinn Féin - On Your Side


20 February, 2008

Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, today unveiled a set of educational materials aimed at supporting the teaching of Citizenship in primary schools.

Ms Ruane launched the materials, part of Amnesty International's 'Lift Off' initiative, during a visit to Stranmillis College. The resources include an updated website and classroom resource books which are being published in both English and Irish.

Commenting on the development, the Minister said: "My vision for education is rooted in a strong and passionate belief in equality. Equality must be based on a culture where there is respect for one another as individuals and respect for those who come from different backgrounds to our own.

"Our young people must be equipped with the skills and confidence to play their full part in our increasingly global society, in a way that upholds human rights and respects and upholds the rights of others.

"The resources being unveiled today will enable teachers, through the area of Citizenship in the revised curriculum, to provide young people with an education that will enable them to understand their responsibilities in this important area."

The resource books and website have been developed in a partnership between Amnesty International's UK and Ireland sections, the Irish National Teachers Organisation and the Ulster Teachers' Union and was part-funded by the Department of Education, the Department of Education and Science in Dublin and Irish Aid.

Ms Ruane continued: "These resources will help provide an education system that creates articulate young people who can take their place in a society where every young person has the same opportunity to succeed, regardless of social background, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion or race."

The new website can be accessed at Lift Off programme organisers are working with the Education and Library Boards to distribute the resources to teachers during in-service training events.


1. The Lift Off programme began in 2001 and is a cross-border partnership between Amnesty International (UK/Irish sections), the Irish National Teachers' Organisation and the Ulster Teachers' Union.

2. The programme materials have been developed to support the revised curriculum and are included in the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment's list of suggested resources to support the teaching of Personal Development & Mutual Understanding in primary schools.

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