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Education must be at the heart of our community

06-06-2007

Education must be at the heart of our community

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has told the Presbyterian General Assembly that she believes education must be at the heart of our community.

The Minister was addressing the Moderator and members of the General Assembly during a discussion session "Presbyterians talk Education". The Minister said; "Children have a right to an excellent education and to help ensure this, I believe education must be at the heart of our community. We all have a responsibility, whether as parents or educators, to help our children develop their talents so they can become confident articulate young people ready for the challenges of the modern world."

The Minister also spoke about the challenges and changes in education. She said: "This is a time of major change in education. Change that is resulting in many challenges we must face together. I want to ensure that young people and their parents can make decisions about their future and not have them made by others, often when they are very young.

"We have to ensure that our children with special needs receive the support they need. Many of our schools have new arrivals. Children who do not have English as their first language, but who have a right to focused services.

"Every school must be a good school, well supported and built with good leadership and a positive ethos. Education must be both enjoyable and challenging for our children so they become engaged and can fulfil their potential."

The Minister also acknowledged that education issues were very important to the churches and she looked forward to discussing this further.

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