26th Aug, 2022
‘Sealbhú’ Project Launch
Launch of resources and research to tackle the impact of the pandemic on Irish-medium Schools
In June 2020, Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta circulated a paper on the impact of the pandemic on the Irish-medium sector amongst the educational authorities. Although the impact on the education sector as a whole was noted, the paper showed the additional impact on IM pupils as a result of the periods spent outside the immersion environment. Additionally, the pandemic highlighted the long-standing issues faced by the IM sector: including a lack of investment in educational resources and Irish language infrastructure online.
Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta was delighted when the Department of Education recognised these additional pressures and made funding available for the 21/22 school year to allow for the creation of Irish language resources and for important research to be carried out on the impact of the pandemic on the IME sector.
There was a particular recognition of the lack of wellbeing resources available in Irish as young people struggled with the consequences of the pandemic. Funding was given to Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta to develop Irish language wellbeing resources that will go a long way in improving the wellbeing and mental health of our pupils.
Orla Nig Fhearraigh, appointed coordinator of the ‘Sealbhú’ project, said:
“Although Coronavirus is still the public’s mind, our schools are returning this year with the opportunity to focus on teaching and learning primarily. The last two years have been a difficult period and the full effects are still to be felt.
Major efforts were made during the pandemic to put resources and infrastructure in place for pupils throughout the north to support them whilst learning from home. Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta was disappointed, however, that most of these resources were in English alone.
We were heartened, however, that after sustained advocacy from ourselves and the sector itself, we succeeded in obtaining this funding. This gave us the opportunity to tackle some of the additional pandemic related challenges faced by the IM sector, specifically language acquisition in the context of children not being in school for sustained periods of time.
We thank our partners in CCEA for their efforts in creating additional resources in a short timeframe and Gearóid Ó Domagáin, University of Ulster, for undertaking valuable research on the impact of the pandemic in the IM sector.
We look forward to celebrating the outcomes of this project next week.”
The launch of the resources and the research will be in Cultúrlann MacAdam Ó Fiaich on the 1st September between 10:00-11:30a.m.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Orla Nig Fhearraigh, Advisory Officer, Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta