#Gaeilge4All campaign calls for reform to improve the teaching of Irish in schools

#Gaeilge4All campaign calls for reform to improve the teaching of Irish in schools

A new campaign calling for improvements in the way Irish is taught in schools has been launched today.

Gaeilge4All aims to ensure that "every student can have a positive, meaningful and fulfilling Irish language learning experience."

It comes as the campaign reveals that 64% of 1,011 people surveyed between January 23 and February 6 think reform is needed to ensure that all students have a competent level of Irish.

Only 11% disagreed, according to the Kantar Millward Brown survey.

Caoimhe Molloy, a spokesperson for the campaign and also Irish Language Officer for the Irish Second Level Students’ Union, said: “Let's not avoid problems but solve them. Let's give every student of every ability the chance and support to learn Irish.

"Let’s support and better equip the teachers in our schools."

"Let's use international best practice to ensure every child is included. Let's keep Irish as a core leaving cert subject but fix the problems in the system.

"Let's do this together - Déanaimis anois é”.

Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge, said there is scope for more and more people to speak Irish regularly.

He said: "So if you look at the census figures, about 40% of the population say that they have some command of spoken Irish, but why aren't we aiming for 50%, 60%, 70%?

"To do that we need fundamental change, joined-up thinking."

The survey also found that 64% think Irish should remain as a core subject up to Leaving Certificate, with 14% against the idea.

Mr de Spáinn said: "We are calling on the Minister of Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD to put together an evidence-based comprehensive policy, for the first time since the foundation of the State, for the Irish language in our education system from pre-school to third level."

They also found that 63% think there should be a comprehensive policy that links the teaching of Irish from pre-school to primary, to secondary schooling through to third level.

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