Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (211)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

211. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will introduce a module on interculturalism, including the use of existing anti-racist education programmes. [5068/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Promotion of interculturalism is integral to all aspects of Irish school life. It should not be confined to one module and therefore the introduction of such a module would not be considered advisable. The primary SPHE programme teaches children to recognise and appreciate ethnic, social and cultural diversity, fostering genuine inclusiveness.

At post-primary, aspects of subjects like History and Geography focus on understanding cultural diversity and the dangers of racism, while CSPE specifically fosters taking action on racism and xenophobia, supporting interculturalism and development. The new Junior Cycle will extend an integrated approach, requiring that every student 'values what it means to be an active citizen, with rights and responsibilities in local and wider contexts.' The key skill, 'Working with Others', stresses 'respecting difference', while the new CSPE short course, currently being developed, reinforces these themes throughout. The Intercultural Education Strategy (2010) in its aims emphasises the importance of "ensuring that inclusion and integration within an intercultural learning environment become the norm "