Lessons in beating bigotry…

NEWS in from Scotland, and Jack McConnell’s plans to ‘twin’ schools in Scotland to help combat sectarianism there has met with a mixed reception, though the kids and parents in one pair of schools seem to be coming round to the idea. In other efforts at reconciliation, the International Fund for Ireland has recently switched its funding focus in Northern Ireland towards greater support for cross-community schemes, bringing the IFI cash flow to an end in about five years. With Americans highly supportive of integrated education too, perhaps the sector is about to experience some growth. I hope so.

  • Ultonian Scottis American

    And so far, here in the US we don’t give tax money to support schools run by religious denominations.

  • la dee dah

    I’m all for integrated education, but don’t really know enough about this to comment. Is it not fair to say that what happens in a child’s home is as influential on it’s upbringing as what happens in school. I know schools can set a powerful example but what happens when they go home to their family and community?

  • IJP

    What on earth does ‘greater support for cross-community schemes’ mean???

    The last thing we need is more do-gooders interfering in NI as if Protestants and Catholics never speak to each other and as if all that is required is for them to meet occasionally and then everything will be rosy.

    The British and the Germans met and had a good time on Christmas Day 1914 – but within 24 hours they were back annihilating each other because for all their nice meetings they never actually got to the crux of the matter.

    Pretty ‘cross-community schemes’ will solve nothing. What is required is a fundamental acceptance that compromise and sacrifice even of fundamental principles are required to build a society to which we can all pledge allegiance.

    How do we do that? Well, first off we need a properly functioning economy. Suddenly ‘shifting focus to cross-community schemes (and away from economic development)’ doesn’t look quite so clever… can anyone offer an explanation?