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Ní oibreoidh treoirlínte na Roinne Oideachais do Bhoird Bainistíochta i gCeantair Tuaithe - Ó Clochartaigh

22 December, 2014


Leagan Béarla Thíos/English Version Follows.

Tá urlabhraí Shinn Féin ar Ghnóthaí Tuaithe agus Cúrsaí Gaeilge, an Seanadóir Trevor Ó Clochartaigh tar éis iarradh ar an Aire Oideachais athbhreithniú a dhéanamh ar threoirlínte atá dhá bhrú ag an Roinn Oideachais ar na Boird Oideachais & Oiliúna (BOO) i dtaca le h-ionadaithe a cheapadh ar bhoird bainistíochta na scoileanna ina gceantar feidhme.  

Ag labhairt dó sa Seanad, deir an Seanadóir Ó Clochartaigh:

"Tá diongbháilteacht an rialtais nach féidir ach baill ó an BOO a chónaíonn i bhfoisceacht 20 ciliméadar do scoil a cheapadh ar an mbord bainistíochta ann go h-iomlán dodhéanta i gceantair tuaithe. In áiteanna cosúil le Conamara, áit a dtagaim féin as, tá formhór na scoileanna faoi scáth an BOO ós cionn scór ciliméadar óna chéile agus ciallaíonn sin go bhfuil formhór baill na h-eagraíochta dícháilithe ó bheith ar na boird bainistíochta ina gceantar BOO féin.

"Tá casadh eile ar an scéal nuair a thógtar scoileanna Gaeltachta agus Gaelscoileanna san áireamh. Tá fadhb ag formhór na BOOanna, a bhfuil scoileanna a mhúineann tré mheán na Gaeilge faoina scáth acu, maidir le baill boird a cheapadh a bhfuil Gaeilge ar a dtoil acu agus ansin iad siúd a roghnú do bhoird bainistíochta na scoileanna féin a fheidhmíonn tré Ghaeilge. Níl ag eirí leo dá bhrí sin, baill den BOO a chuir ar na boird seo ata ábalta a gcuid gnóthaí a dhéanamh i nGaeilge agus tá sé sin iomlán mícheart. 

"Ní bhaineann seo le costaisí ach an oiread de réir mar a thuigim. Tá comhleacaithe de mo chuid féin gur baill de BOO iad atá sásta ionadaíocht a dhéanamh ar scoil lasmuigh den limistéir ceadaithe gan aon chostas breise don BOO, mar tá spéis agus scil faoi leith acu a bheadh tairbheach sa gcomhthéacs sin, nó nuair atá Gaeilge ag teastáil, ach tá cosc orthu sin a dhéanamh mar gheall ar rialacha míphraiticiúla na Roinne. 

"Caithfidh an tAire tuiscint nach féidir an réiteach céanna a bhrú anuas ar phobail tuaithe, mar aon le ceantair uirbeacha agus gur gá athmhachnamh a dhéanamh ar sheasamh na Roinne ina leith seo. 

"Freisin, tacaím le prionsabal na gcuótaí inscne chun ionadaíocht na mban ag gach leibhéal de ghníomhaíocht an stáit a leathnú. Ach, tuigtear dom chomh maith go bhfuil seo ag cothú deacracht eile ar roinnt Boird Oideachais & Oiliúna, mar de thoradh na rialacha go bhfuil na húdaráis áitiúla ag cur brú ollmhór ar ionadaithe ban dul ar bhoird na BOOanna, in aghaidh a dtola, leis an gcuóta a chomhlíonadh

"Is léir domsa de bharr na ndeacrachtaí seo go gcaithfidh an tAire idirghabháil a dhéanamh láithreach le réiteach a fháil atá infheidhmithe agus praiticiúil chun cinntiú go ndéantar seirbhísiú mar is ceart ar scoileanna tuaithe, Gaeltachta agus gaelscoileanna agus go bhfuil na cuótaí inscne dhá chur i bhfeidhm ar bhealach indéanta agus cothrom'.

Department of Education guidelines on Boards of Management unworkable in Rural Areas - Ó Clochartaigh

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Rural Affairs & the Irish Language, Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has called on the Minister for Education to review guidelines being imposed by the Department of Education on the Education and Training Boards in relation to appointments to the Boards of Management of schools in their catchment area. 

Speaking in the Seanad Senator Ó Clochartaigh said:

"The government’s insistence that ETB members can only be appointed to the Boards of Management of schools within a 20km radius of their homes is totally unworkable in rural areas. In areas like Connemara where I come from most ETB schools are well over 20km apart and this would exclude members being on most school boards in their ETB areas.

"This issue becomes more complicated for Gaeltacht and Irish medium schools. Many ETB's have issues over the number of Irish speakers they have as board members, who can then be appointed to the Board of Management of Irish medium & Gaeltacht schools in their areas. Therefore, they are finding it impossible to ensure that there is ETB representation on these boards that can fulfil their duties through the medium of Irish and this is totally unacceptable.

"I understand that this is not an issue of expenses either. Colleagues of mine who are members of ETB's have indicated that they are willing to represent the organisation outside the allowable area at no extra cost to the ETB, if they have a particular skills set which would be of use to other schools and where the Irish language is essential, but they are precluded from doing so by impractical departmental regulations.

"The Minister needs to realise that the one size fits all approach is failing rural areas yet again and she needs to revise the department’s stance on these issues.

"I support the principle of gender quotas to increase female representation at all levels of state activity. But I understand also, that the gender quota on some ETB's is causing a difficulty, which is resulting in female local authority representatives being pressurised to go onto ETB boards against their wishes, to cover the gender quota necessity.

"These issues make it clear to me that the Minister needs to intervene immediately to find solutions that are practical to ensure that rural and Irish medium schools are properly serviced by their boards of management and that gender quotas are fulfilled in a practical and workable manner".

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