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Butler highlights benefits of bi-lingual education

15 June, 2007

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Lagan Valley MLA Paul Butler has welcomed a Council for Irish medium education (CNAG) presentation to the Assembly Education committee and has re-affirmed his party's committment to bi-lingual education.

He said:

"The presentation is thoroughly worthwhile and I am impressed by the groups ethos to promote, facilitate and encourage Irish Medium Education and schools in the North of Ireland and to do this in a planned, educationally
efficient and cost effective way.

"Bi-lingualism in schools should be encouraged in the context of a multi-lingual Europe and a multi-cultural Ireland. Research from the Basque Country and Canada for example have shown greater benefits for cognative
thinking through Irish -Medium Education and Sinn Féin believes the figures speak for themselves.

"I am concerned, however, at the shortfall in Irish language teachers for this sector and share Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta's worries.

"Over 4000 children attend Irish medium education in the six counties and come from all backgrounds and from all religions and none. Sinn Féin have constantly championed the rights of Irish speaking children and urge all
other parties to do likewise." Ends/deireadh

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