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Education Minister visits Gaelscoil na gCrann, Omagh

14 March, 2012 - by John O'Dowd

Education Minister, John O’Dowd, paid a visit to Gaelscoil na gCrann in Omagh today.

During his visit to the primary school, which teaches children through the medium of Irish, the Minister was given a tour of the classrooms where he had the opportunity to speak to both staff and pupils.

The Minister said: “It has been a pleasure to visit Gaelscoil na gCrann today and I was very impressed by the dedication of the staff and the enthusiasm of the pupils. In particular I would like to commend everyone at the school for the high quality of education provided, as shown in their most recent inspection report.”

The Minister continued: “It was also good to hear that the school are involved in the Primary Languages Programme which is funded by my Department.

“This programme enables tutors to visit schools, assisting teachers in delivering Irish, Spanish and Polish lessons. The programme has been very successful and there are currently over 400 primary schools participating in the programme involving over 27,000 pupils.

“We know from experience in other European countries that an early start to learning a second language is a key way of ensuring success in language learning at post-primary level and into adulthood.

“As the pupils at this school are obviously already being educated through the medium of Irish they have chosen to learn Spanish through the programme. I think it’s fair to say that with Irish and English already under their belt, adding Spanish to their skill set will ensure that the children at Gaelscoil na gCrann will have the opportunity to develop their language skills to a very high standard.”

In conclusion the Minister said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Omagh today and would like to thank everyone involved for their warm welcome. I would also like to wish all the staff and pupils the very best for the future.”

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