Lárphointe eolais na Gaeilge: Nuacht, imeachtaí, folúntais agus níos mó

English version below / Leagan Béarla thíos

 Conradh na Gaeilge ag éileamh ar an Aire Oideachais agus Scileanna, Joe McHugh, TD an comhairliúchán lochtach ar an gcóras díolúintí ó staidéar ar an nGaeilge a chur ar ceal agus comhairliúchán cothrom a chur ina áit. Tá sé lochtach ar na cúiseanna seo a leanas:

· Easpa ama ag an bpobal páirt a ghlacadh ann.

Níor fógraíodh an comhairliúchán go dtí 5.00p.m. Dé hAoine, 7 Nollaig, agus tá sé le críochnú ar 11 Eanáir. Is féidir glacadh leis go bhfuil páirtithe leasmhara (ar nós príomhoidí, daltaí, tuismitheoirí, srl..) an-ghafa leis an Nollaig ag teacht agus ní bheidh ach 5 lá scoile nuair a thagann daoine ar ais san athbhliain le páirt a ghlacadh ann. Tá amhras mór ann faoin líon daoine atá fiú ar an eolas go bhfuil an comhairliúchán ar siúl faoi láthair.

· Níor tógadh an taighde ón gCigireacht a eisíodh leis an bpáipéar comhairliúcháin san áireamh go sásúil sa cháipéis comhairliúcháin agus sna moltaí luaite ann do na ciorcláin nua.

Mar shampla, dúradh ar leathanach 78 den taighde: ‘Leagann síceolaithe SNSO ar na tairbhí a bhaineann le foghlaim an dara teanga. Teachtaireacht uileghabhálach ina fhianaise seo is ea nach mór a bheith cúramach i dtaobh gan deis a thabhairt d’fhoghlaimeoirí ag a bhfuil RSO agus scoláirí a fhoghlaimíonn Béarla mar theanga bhreise an dara teanga a fhoghlaim i bhfianaise níos mó cleachtais chuimsithigh a bheith sna scoileanna, i bhfianaise athruithe curaclaim agus céim i dtreo foghlaim teanga chomhtháite. I dtaighde reatha atá luaite ag SNSO táthar in amhras leis, de réir dealraimh, faoi cé acu an cleachtas críonna nó éigríonna é ndíolúintí a thabhairt do scoláirí ag a bhfuil saindeacrachtaí foghlama ón dara teanga a fhoghlaim.’ Níl aon riain den mholadh seo le feiceáil sna dréacht ciorcláin nua.

· Tá an comhairliúchán fhéin agus an modh le hionchur ón bpobal a bhailiú tríd suirbhé ar-líne an-an-teoranta; agus níl ach an suirbhé ar líne amháin ar fáil le páirt a ghlacadh ann.

Tá gach cuma ar an scéal go bhfuil an suirbhé ar líne ann le daoine a theorannú do na dréacht ciorcláin amháin atá curtha le chéile ag an Roinn. Níl aon áit ann chun moltaí nua a chur chun cinn, mar shampla, a laghdódh an gá le díolúintí sa thodhchaí.


Dúirt Niall Comer, Uachtarán Chonradh na Gaeilge:

“Is trua go bhfuil an Roinn Oideachais i ndiaidh comhairliúchán lochtach ar cheist na ndíolúintí ó staidéar na Gaeilge a fhógairt, 15 bliain ón chéad am ar chuir siad in iúl go raibh siad chun tabhairt faoina leithéid d’athbhreithniú, faoi dheifir agus ag an am is measa den bhliain. Táimid den tuairim go bhfuil an comhairliúchán seo réamhsocraithe agus nach iarracht réasúnta í chun ceist na ndíolúintí a phlé, moltaí éagsúla a mheas agus córas cothrom nua a chur in áit an chórais lochtaigh reatha. Tá cuma ar an scéal go bhfuil an Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna imithe i muinín cur chuige Twitter agus 120 focal mar theorainn ar an líon focal gur féidir a scríobh ar na freagraí i Roinn 2 den suirbhé. Is masla é sin d’aon duine a bhfuil moltaí acu leis an gcóras a fheabhsú. Agus, mar eolas, tá 155 focal san fhriotal seo uaimse, 35 focal thar theorainn na Roinne!”


Dúirt Julian de Spáinn, Ard-Rúnaí Chonradh na Gaeilge:

“Tá moltaí ag Conradh na Gaeilge ar chur chuige éagsúil a d’fheadfadh fáil réidh leis an ngá le díolúintí do dhaltaí ag dul isteach sa chóras déanach agus a laghdódh an brú ar dhaltaí atá lag ag foghlaim teangacha ach níl aon áit cheart sa suirbhé le moltaí mar sin a chur san áireamh, go háirithe mar gheall go bhfuil an suirbhé bunaithe ar na dréacht-chiorcláin amháin san áireamh sa cháipéis chomhairliúcháin curtha le chéile ag an Roinn Oideachais agus Scileanna cheana féin. Ba cheart don Aire Oideachais, Joe McHugh, TD an comhairliúchán a chur ar ceal láithreach bonn agus comhairliúchán ceart cothrom a eagrú i ndiaidh na Nollaig.”

 

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Conradh na Gaeilge are calling on the Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD to cancel the current unsatisfactory consultation on the system for granting exemptions from the learning of Irish and in its place to set up a fair consultation. The consultation is unsatisfactory for the following reasons:

· There is not sufficient time for the public to take part in it.

The consultation was not announced until 5.00p.m. on Friday, 7th of December, and it is to end on the 11th of January. It can be assumed that interested parties (such as school principals, students, parents, etc..) are busy in the run up to Christmas and they will only have 5 school days to take part in survey when they return from the Christmas holidays. Also, it is uncertain how many people are even aware that the consultation is actually taking place.

· The research carried out by the Inspectorate, which was released at the same time as the consultation paper, was not satisfactorily reflected in the consultation paper or in the new draft circulars.

For example, it is stated on page 75 of the research: ‘NEPS psychologists emphasise the benefits of learning a second language. An overarching message in light of this is the need for caution around excluding learners with special educational needs, and also pupils / students learning English as an additional language, from the opportunity to learn a second language in light of increased inclusive practice in schools, curricular changes and a move toward integrated language learning. Existing research cited by NEPS also appears to question the wisdom of exempting students with SEN from learning a second language.’ This recommendation is not reflected in the new proposed circulars.

· The consultation itself and the method for gathering opinions by the on-line survey is extremely limited; and there is only the on-line survey available to take part in the consultation

The on-line survey seems to limit people to the draft circulars only that the Department has put together. There is no place to suggest new methods that would, for example, reduce the need for exemptions in the future.

Niall Comer, President of Conradh na Gaeilge said:

“It is a great pity that the Department of Education and Skills has established an unsatisfactory rushed consultation in relation to the system of exemptions, 15 years after they first announced that they would carry out such a review, at the worst time of the year. We are of the opinion that the outcome of this consultation is already decided and that this is not a reasonable attempt to discuss the exemptions, to weigh up the various options and to agree a new fairer system in place of the current unsatisfactory system. It seems that the Department of Education and Skills is following a Twitter type of process and limiting answers in Section 2 of the survey to 120 words. This is an insult to anyone who has recommendations to improve the system. And, FYI, there are 149 words in my quote here, 29 more than the Department’s limits.”

Julian de Spáinn, General Secretary of Conradh na Gaeilge said:

“Conradh na Gaeilge has suggestions on ways to remove the need for exemptions for students entering the schooling system late and that would also reduce the pressure on students who are weak at learning languages but there is nowhere in the survey to include these recommendations, especially as the survey is based only on the draft circulars included in the consultation document prepared by the Department of Education and Skills. The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, TD should cancel the current consultation and establish a fair consultation after Christmas.”

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