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Department of Education needs to act urgently to address the decline in pupils studying languages – Pat Sheehan MLA

7 October, 2021 - by Pat Sheehan

Sinn Féin’s northern Education Spokesperson Pat Sheehan has said that the department of education need to address the decline in the number of pupils studying languages.

An Gréasán and Gael Linn – one of the main Irish Language organisations on the island of Ireland – have today published an open letter to the Department in North asking them to intervene. The letter was signed by over 70 teachers, speakers and activists.

Pat Sheehan said: 

“I have great admiration and respect for the teachers who have signed this letter and are demanding better from the Department. 

“The figures presented in the letter make for stark reading, it is clear the emphasis of the curriculum has placed on STEM subjects over recent years to the detriment of languages. 

“There have been numerous shortcomings from the Department over the last number of years in relation to the language, these trends must be reversed. 

“While the Irish medium sector continues to grow unbounded, it’s time to look at the language and other languages within the English Medium Sector. 

“Sinn Féin support the demands made in the letter and will engage with the Department as they encourage our pupils to study a language.”

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