US support for integrated education…

IT’S a common reaction from Americans when they learn that 95 percent of pupils in Northern Ireland attend, to all intents and purposes, single-identity schools – sheer disbelief at the lack of integration. US Envoy Mitchell Reiss’s strong support for integrated education echoes his predecessor Richard Haass’s decision to put his own hand in his pocket to help out (last page) with a major donation. Barbara Stephenson, the recently-departed American Consul General, also made her support vocal for integrated education.

  • Davros

    One plus would be that it would be easier to facilitate teaching Of Irish.

    Sorting out the History curriculum – a job for the UN ?

  • John S

    I really don’t see why people make suh a big thing out of integration in schools. Shouldn’t children be allowed to retain and embrace THEIR cultural identity while respecting other peoples, without having to embarce everyone elses as well. Tradition, heritage, culture and religion have become dirty words in NI state schools – a sad reflection on our society.

  • Davros

    Like it or not John, segregation fosters sectarianism. Is it a price worth paying ?

  • John S

    Of course that can’t be proven. A child from a sectarian background is obviously not going to go to an integrated school at present, so segregated schools are educating sectarian pupils. If however the parents of the child no longer had the choice to send them to a segregated school and they were forced to go to an integrated school do you believe that this would suddenly change their outlook on life? It wouldn’t just lead to gangs forming in schools and an increased level of sectarianism at schools (which are currently politically neutral environments)?

  • Mario

    The Irish/British state pays for religious instruction at secondary schools?

    Fascinating.

    Who pays for that?

  • Davros

    “Of course that can’t be proven.”

    I’m going on the word of Bishop Devine

    “A child from a sectarian background is obviously not going to go to an integrated school at present,”

    That isn’t necessarily so.

  • Alan

    *Shouldn’t children be allowed to retain and embrace THEIR cultural identity while respecting other peoples, without having to embarce everyone elses as well.*

    Respect, but not embrace? Actually I’m all for barbed wire love!

    Better to have kids meeting each other as people, rather than as stereotypes. Most schools do nothing to explain alternative cultures. Many kids don’t get to meet their peers from schools of the other sort.

    Key to this is that over the years thousands of kids ( around nine average, second-level school intakes p.a.)were forced back into segregated schools because there were not sufficient places in integrated schools.

    Thanks to US support the work to develop integrated education can continue.

  • willowfield

    John S

    If however the parents of the child no longer had the choice to send them to a segregated school and they were forced to go to an integrated school do you believe that this would suddenly change their outlook on life?

    Probably, yes.

    It wouldn’t just lead to gangs forming in schools and an increased level of sectarianism at schools (which are currently politically neutral environments)?

    Aye. Whatever you say!

    Stop integration immediately: it’s fostering sectarianism!!