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About | IMEASC | Campaign for Legislation to provide Irish-Medium Education at School

About


What We Want


What ?

Legislation to provide a steady and sustainable increase in the provision of Irish-Medium Education. We aim to secure the support of all TD’s and Senators to achieve decent provision of IME for our children.


Why ?

The Dept. of Education needs a legislative framework in order to be able to plan and provide the requisite infrastructure.


Legislation

IMEASC have prepared draft legislation as an example of what is required. Click here to read

The 20 Year Strategy

From the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language
“Specifically, the Government aim is to ensure that as many citizens as possible are bilingual in both Irish and English”

“the headline goal has been set of increasing over 20 years….. the number of daily speakers of Irish from the current level of approximately 83,000 to 250,000.”


Objective 6:

A high standard of all-Irish education will be provided to school students whose parents/guardians so wish. Gaelscoileanna will continue to be supported at primary level and all-Irish provision at post-primary level will be developed to meet follow-on demand.



IMEASC’s Target


23% / ¼ of all children able to access Irish-Medium Education by 2042 – to meet current minimum demand
(Compare this to Wales who have recently set their target to increase from 20% to 40% by 2050)

IMEASC’s proposal is to increase total IME from 6.3% to 23% over 20 years on a steady growth basis, (i.e. an additional 0.9% per annum on average).

A steady compound growth of c. 6% / 9% year-on-year in primary / secondary school pupils in Irish-Medium Education respectively would result in c. 23% of all pupils in IME in 20 years time (based on 2019 pupil no’s).


This is sustainable as it would initially start off adding less than ½% per year of total pupil numbers and slowly increase over time.

This will allow teacher training and other resource capacities to be steadily and sustainably developed and built up.


Why ?


The experiences in other countries highlight the strong correlation between immersion education, the spoken language and its long term viability.

For example, to follow the highly successful Welsh strategy would require that Ireland’s positive objectives and long-term policies, be underpinned by legislation promoting immersion education and integrated with Action Plans that are monitored for target achievement.

– Even though only 8.1% of the nation’s children can attend an Irish-medium primary school, because of a really shocking lack of post-primary infrastructure provision across the country less than half of them (44%) are able to continue their secondary education through Irish. Read more here

– Surveys over the past 20 years have shown that there is a consistent demand from 1 in 4 parents for Irish Medium Education, so provision is falling far short of parental demand. Read more here

– There are institutional blockages resulting from the current legislative environment effectively preventing increased provision.

– Using data collated from UNESCO’s ‘Atlas of World Languages in Danger’, a 2021 Busuu study which used ‘intergenerational transmission’ as a criteria for assessing extinction risk factor ranked Irish as “definitely endangered”. Read the article here

– Bi-lingualism is now shown to have additional demonstrable long term societal and health benefits on top of the cultural benefits long highlighted. Read the article here

– The EU is actively promoting mulit-lingualism in education for children to increase fluency in regional languages. Read more here


Legislation is needed to meet the current demand for IME