Gaelscoileanna and School Admissions Bill
A chara, – Further to the article “Pre-school children may face admission interviews in Irish” (February 12th), all that is being proposed is the formal recognition of long established best practice in Ireland and internationally to ensure that children from the minority language community receive their education in their home language.
This practice only takes place in some Gaelscoileanna which are over subscribed and only in the case of the tiny minority of children whose parents state on the admission form that they are being raised through Irish.
Nobody carries out “interviews” with four-year-old children! What generally happens in schools that have this policy is that the Irish speaking parent and child meet teachers from the school and play with some toys. The teachers are then able to observe that Irish is indeed the habitual language of communication between the parent and child.
This ensures that children from Irish speaking homes, regardless of academic ability or learning difficulties, can achieve their potential in literacy in their home language.
The vast majority of places in schools that practise this policy – over 95 per cent – go to children who do not come from homes where Irish is spoken and this will continue to be the case. – Is mise,
Baile Átha Cliath 16.