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Ruane discusses key issues at NSMC meeting in Armagh

21 January, 2011 - by Caitríona Ruane

Education Minister, Caitríona Ruane, today attended the latest meeting of the North South Ministerial Council in Education Sectoral Format in Armagh.

Mary Coughlan TD, Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Science, chaired the meeting, which was also attended by Danny Kennedy, Minister for Employment and Learning.

Speaking after the meeting, which was held at the NSMC’s Joint Secretariat office in Armagh, Minister Ruane said: “Co-operation with our education counterparts in the south of Ireland through the Council is a central tenet of the Good Friday Agreement and is vital in examining the common issues that affect the island as a whole.

“The Council continues to make good progress in key areas, including tackling underachievement and promoting teacher education. Raising literacy and numeracy levels remains a priority, as shown by the performance of students from the north compared to other European countries in the recent PISA assessment. Initiatives such as Children’s Book Week held in October and a North-South conference on literacy to be held next month are helping address this in a collaborative way.

“The Council also discussed provision for children with special educational needs and our commitment to the Middletown Centre for Autism. My officials have met with their counterparts in DES to discuss the further development of the phased multi-annual plan for the Centre.

“We also received an interesting and enlightening presentation from TJ O’Ceallaigh of the Professional Development Service for Teachers and Seán MacCorraidh of the Curriculum, Advisory and Support Services on the excellent work being done to promote the professional development of teachers in the Irish Medium sector both north and south.”

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