SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has called for the Education Minister to explore creative ways of establishing a Post-Primary Irish medium school in Derry.
“Local people are passionate and proud of the Irish language, which is evident in the burgeoning numbers of children attending our naíscoileanna and bunscoileanna. In Derry we are very fortunate to have a strong Irish medium education sector up to bunscoil level.
“However, there is a growing feeling among parents and their children that we need a standalone meánscoil so that learning through Irish can continue. While there is currently provision for gaelgeoirí to learn a narrow range of subjects in one of our secondary schools, it is simply not enough to promote the development of the language or the student’s understanding of it.
“I recently wrote to the Minister for Education, asking him to consider the development of post-primary Irish language medium Education in the Foyle Constituency. While I am pleased the Minister acknowledged the gap in provision for post-primary learners, he did however express concern that the budgetary pressures could hinder progress.
“Although, I sympathise completely with the current financial positioning of the Department, I cannot emphasise enough the need to look more closely at options for cross-border co-operation and other more creative solutions to allow the development of a Post-Primary Irish Medium School.”