Thursday, 30 May 2013

Questions (170)

Bernard Durkan


170. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the extent to which his Department maintains contact with Gaelscoileanna throughout the country in the context of the further promotion of the Irish language as a spoken language; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26510/13]

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Written answers (Question to Arts)

I should explain at the outset that Foras na Gaeilge, an agency of the North South Language Body (An Foras Teanga) under my Department's remit, has a statutory role in regard to supporting both Irish-medium education and the teaching of Irish in both jurisdictions. Foras na Gaeilge co-operates with and acts as an advocate for the promotion of Irish in the education sector. For example, Foras na Gaeilge is represented on the boards of An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta & Gaelscolaíochta (COGG), the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the North South Standing Committee on Irish-Medium Education. I understand that regular meetings are held by those fora to progress issues relating to Irish-medium education and the teaching of Irish.

Foras na Gaeilge assists and facilitates the development and provision of Irish language resources as well as Irish language courses at all levels. For example, Foras na Gaeilge produces teaching resources for both primary and post-primary schools through its publication house, An Gúm. Foras na Gaeilge operates schemes which support Irish language groups in organising summer camps and youth events outside of school hours.

Foras na Gaeilge also operates specific schemes in schools, consisting of GLEO (Gaeilge Labhartha san Earnáil Oideachais / Spoken Irish in the Education Sector), a scheme to promote Irish in English-medium primary and post-primary schools, and the Scríobh Leabhar (Write a Book) scheme which encourages creative writing in primary schools. Foras na Gaeilge has also developed a policy on immersion education.

Finally, Foras na Gaeilge currently provides funding to a number of Irish language organisations which have a remit with regard to the Irish language in the education sector, including Gaelscoileanna, Comhar na Múinteoirí Gaeilge, Forbairt Naíonraí Teoranta, Altram and An tÁisaonad.

Question No. 171 answered with Question No. 22.