Education Minister launches toolkits for diversity
Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, has launched three new diversity toolkits for pre-school, post -primary and special schools.
The toolkits will aid schools as they integrate newcomer pupils into the school and ensure all pupils fully access the curriculum and actively participate in the whole school environment.
Speaking at the launch in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle, the Minister said: "Over recent years we have been given the opportunity to welcome many newcomers who have chosen to work and raise their families all over Ireland. This has enriched the diversity of our population, our cultural perspectives and has greatly changed the range of languages here and we are very grateful for that. However, for our newcomer pupils, there can be very many challenges, not least the language barrier.
"Schools need support if they are to continue to provide the necessary environment where newcomer pupils strive to fulfil their potential at each stage of development. In recognition of this, a number of new initiatives to support schools, newcomer parents and their children, have been developed.
"One of these initiatives is the development of the toolkits. These toolkits will help teachers adapt and respond to their changing school community and support them in developing the potential of the children. The feedback I received from the primary toolkit which I launched in December 2007, was positive and it was important that progress continued to develop further toolkits for pre-schools, post-primary and special schools.”
The Minister concluded: "My Department is committed to the dissemination of this toolkit to every pre, post-primary and special school in the north of Ireland.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those individuals north and south, who have been involved in the development of these toolkits to help this become a reality. Whilst children are our future, they are very much our present and deserve the best we can provide for them. I would like to offer them a warm céad míle fáilte."