05/03/2009

Education Minister Drums Up Support For Integration

With over 18,000 children and young people being educated in integrated schools across Northern Ireland already, the sector has an important role to play.

Thats according to the NI Education Minister Caitríona Ruane (pictured with pupils, Stephanie Dempster, Laura Shaw and Rebecca Scott) who visited Saintfield's Millennium Integrated Primary School to help celebrate Integrated Education week.

She said that over 50 integrated schools will be using Integrated Education week to promote the theme 'It's a small world'.

"It is great to see the young people at Millennium Integrated study and research the cultures that help them to understand other traditions and societies.
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"We have a multi-lingual society and the young people were learning and developing their language skills which will increase their interest and success in languages throughout their education.

"Integrated schools do have an important role to play in education and I have a statutory duty to encourage and facilitate integrated education," she said noting that, with the development of new technology and new initiatives such as schools promoting Fair Trade, the world is indeed getting much smaller and more accessible.

"Boundaries in education are being dissolved and pupils can swap stories, practices and experiences with their counterparts across the globe," she said.

(BMcC/JM)

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