Save the "Sharing Languages, Sharing Cultures Project"
- Sharing Languages Project
- Closed on
- Department of Education Northern Ireland
- Northern Ireland
We would like to thank all those who signed the petition to save the Sharing Languages, Sharing Cultures Project in County Down. We are now in the process of establishing a meeting with the First Minister Peter Robinson to discuss the future of the project.
Shimna Integrated College’s Sharing Languages, Sharing Cultures (SLSC) programme is now in its sixth year. The programme means that for six years primary school children in our area have been learning languages together in shared classes as part of their regular, normal, weekly learning.
The response from the children, their parents and the local communities has been hugely supportive, so much so that the project has expanded each year from an initial 156 pupils from 10 schools receiving shared language lessons in 2007 to 371 pupils from 16 schools in 2012.
SLSC has been made possible through funding very generously provided by Atlantic Philanthropies and in the most recent three years by Dr Gerard O'Hare. We have also had the support of Queen's University and the Integrated Education Fund. The funding was provided to allow Shimna Integrated College to prove the value of an opportunity for children in local, rural, single identity schools with values deeply rooted in their community to learn together and to learn languages. We believe that the children, the schools and the communities have quietly proved the value of the programme. They have also proved it more noisily at our wonderful graduation ceremonies in the last two years, at the first of which First Minister Peter Robinson presented the graduation certificates to thunderous applause. And this year over 600 parents, teachers and children had an Irish history lesson – according to Tim McGarry!
We believe the Department of Education should mainstream and fund the project because it is:
*Adaptable to other areas of NI
* In line with the current emphasis on modern language skills
*In line with Stormont Policy of cohesion, sharing and integration.
Shared education and early language learning are two very positive priorities of the Department of Education and we would ask for your signature in support of our petition for funding to mainstream the provision we have proved to be so effective.
We believe that the Sharing Languages, Sharing Cultures Project is a cost effective way to guarantee that hundreds of children, from all sides of the community, in the South Down area learn together and also learn languages.
In the last 6 years over 1500 pupils have come together to receive weekly shared language lessons. Without financial backing from the Department of Education these school collaborations will end in June 2012. Shared education and early language learning are two very positive priorities of the Department of Education. We would ask for your signature in support of our petition for funding to mainstream the provision we have proved to be so effective and easily replicated throughout Northern Ireland.
We invite you to sign our petition requesting the Minister of Education, John O'Dowd, to mainstream and fund our Sharing Languages, Sharing Cultures programme.
The Save the "Sharing Languages, Sharing Cultures Project" petition to Department of Education Northern Ireland was written by Sharing Languages Project and is in the category Education at GoPetition.