Ag labhairt dó i ndiaidh don Taoiseach, Enda Kenny an polasaí a sheoladh i Scoil Mhic Dara ar an gCeathrú Rua inniu, deir urlabhraí Gaeilge & Gaeltachta Shinn Féin:
‘Tá moladh mór ag dul do na h-oideachasóirí, na pobail agus na h-eagraíochtaí Gaeilge & Gaeltachta atá ag éileamh a leithéad de pholasaí le scór blianta anuas chun aitheantas a thabhairt don chainteoir dúchais Gaeilge sa gcóras oideachais.
‘Tá moladh ag dul don Roinn Oideachais a thug faoi phróiséas cuimsitheach comhairleoireachta leis na pobail Ghaeltachta agus iad ag cur an pholasaí seo i dtoll a chéile.
‘Tá Sinn Féin ag éileamh polasaí mar seo le fada agus tá sé go maith gur sheol An Taoiseach, an tAire Oideachais agus Aire Stáit na Gaeltachta an inniu é.
‘Caithfear mionscrúdú a dhéanamh anois ar a bhfuil scríofa inti chun cinntiú go dtagann sé leis na moltaí dearfacha ar fad a rinne an phobal. Is maith an rud go bhfuil €1m fógraithe don pholasaí don bhliain seo chugainn, ach tá amhras orm gur leor sin leis an méid atá le baint amach a chur i gcrích.
‘Ceann de na príorachtaí is tábhachtaí atá san earnáil ná dóthain múinteoirí le caighdeán ard Gaeilge a sholáthar le dul i mbun oibre sna scoileanna Gaeltachta. Ní léir dom go bhfuil an méid atá sa pholasaí seo láidir go leor chun sin a bhaint amach.
‘Beidh dúshlán mhór roimh scoileanna agus na pobail Ghaeltachta stádas scoile Gaeltachta a bhaint amach as seo go ceann cúig bhliana freisin, rud a ardaíonn ceisteanna faoin cúltaca a thabharfar do na pobail éagsúla chun cinntiú go mbeidh tacaiocht go leor ag an múnla nua chun deimhniú go mbeidh an oiread scoileanna Gaeltachta ag múineadh tré mheán na Gaeilge ann agus is féidir.
‘Tá amhras imeasc roinnt pobail freisin go mbeidh brú ar scoileanna beaga Gaeltachta comhnascadh chun teacht i dtír ar na tacaíochtaí breise atá dhá ghealladh do na scoileanna chun cabhrú leo an polasaí nua a chur i bhfeidhm.
‘Molaim an tAire Oideachais & Scileanna Richard Bruton as ucht óráid iomlán i nGaeilge a thabhairt uaidh ag an ócáid agus tá suil agam gur nós é seo a leanfaidh sé agus é i mbun a chuid cúraimí agus go dtógfaidh Airí eile a dheáshampla freisin’.
Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh has welcomed the publishing of the new Policy on Gaeltacht Education today, but he says that all the recommendations need to be fully scrutinised and the necessary resources must be put in place to ensure its full implementation.
Speaking after the launch by the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny in Scoil Mhic Dara in An Cheathrú Rua today, the Sinn Féin Gaeltacht and Irish Language spokesperson says:
‘The educationalists, community groups and organisations who have campaigned for almost twenty years for a policy such as this, which gives recognition to the native Irish speaker in the education system, must be highly commended.
‘The Department of Education and Skills deserve praise for the comprehensive consultation process which they undertook with Gaeltacht communities as they developed this policy also.
‘Sinn Féín have been calling for such a policy for a long time and it is noteworthy that the Taoiseach, the Minister for Education and the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht came to launch it in Connemara today.
‘We must now scrutinise the policy and all its elements to ensure that all the positive recommendations made by the Irish language community have been incorporated. I welcome the allocation of €1m that has been made available for the implementation of the policy from next year, but I am concerned that it will not be enough to deliver what needs to be achieved.
‘One of the main priorities for the sector is the provision of enough teachers with an appropriate competence in Irish to work in Gaeltacht schools. It does not appear to me from my initial reading that there is enough in the policy to deliver on this.
‘Gaeltacht schools and communities are also going to face a substantial challenge if they want their schools to qualify for Gaeltacht status over the next five years, which raises issues as to what supports will be made available to maximise the number of Gaeltacht schools teaching fully through the medium of Irish as possible.
‘Some people in the communities in question are concerned also that the amalgamation of smaller Gaeltacht schools will be foisted upon them as a pre-requisite to receive the extra resources being promised as part of the new policy.
‘I would like to commend the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, for delivering a full speech in Irish at the launch and I hope he will continue to use Irish on a regular basis as he fulfills his responsibilities as Minister and I hope other Ministers will follow suit as well’.