Sinn Féin call for IT training to be offered to parents of students in remote education

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has said that the government must recognise the important role being played by parents with regards to distance learning. 
MacManus highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic has seen many parents and children using technologies for the first time, in order to access education, and said that supports must be in place for parents who may not have a high level of computer skills.
The Midlands Northwest MEP said:
“Recently we voted on a non-legislative report on digital education policy. The report highlighted many of the disparities between the 27 EU states and within the countries themselves in terms of digital skills. Worryingly, the report highlighted that 42 per cent of EU citizens still lack even basic digital skills.”
“We need our government to recognise the increasingly important role parents and families are playing when it comes to education and distance learning. This should be done by both facilitating access to new technologies, but also support and training for teachers, learners and parents, in how to use these technologies. These supports are vital to ensure no learners are disadvantaged as we progress further into the age of online education.”

Cllr Pearse McGeough Welcomes Motion on Irish Language

Councillor Pearse McGeough has welcomed the passing of a Council Motion last month that recognised the great work done by groups in County Louth in the promotion of the Irish language.

The Sinn Féin Councillor also wanted to mark the Irish Langauge festival of Seachtain na Gaeilge which pressed ahead with events from the beginning of the month (albeit in a different format than usual) despite the challenges thrown up by Covid restrictions.

Cllr McGeough said “Seachtain na Gaeilge is the biggest Irish Language Festival in the calendar and I proposed that Louth County Council mark this and invite Louth’s Conradh na Gaeilge to talk to members in the chamber and advise on how we can better support them in their vital work.”

The motion inspired enthusiastic debate in the chamber with Cross-Party support and even suggestions that Foras na Gaeilge could be involved in the presentation. (Foras na Gaeilge is a public body that is tasked with the promotion of the Irish language throughout the island.)

Cllr McGeough said “When you look at what is happening in the 6 counties, where our language is being used as a political football and we are having to fight for not only its promotion but also its survival, you see people coming onto the streets screaming for equal language rights. Yet here in the 26 counties where we have no real opposition to the promotion of our language we can sometimes be guilty of a complacency or a lack of appreciation for our native tongue.

“That is why I think we need to support groups like Conradh na Gaeilge, to ask them how we can help them in their work while at the same time we keep our own traditions and native tongue relevant and hopefully popular with upcoming generations.”

The full text of the motion was as follows:

Molaim go dtugann an Chomhairle seo sonrú ar an fhéile Gaeilge; Seachtain na Gaeilge, a cuireadh tús leis ar 1 Márta. Molaim go dtugann siad sonrú ar an obair iontach ar siúl ag grúpaí fá Chontae Lú leis an teanga a choinneáil beo. Is í Seachtain na Gaeilge an Fhéile Gaeilge is mó sa bhliain.  Molaim go dtugann muid cuireadh ar Chonradh na Gaeilge teacht isteach agus cur i láthair a dhéanamh don Chomhairle seo nuair a bheas sé sábhailte acu a dhéanamh, agus na bearta a féidir leis an Chomhairle seo a dhéanamh a mhíniú.

 I propose that this council mark the Irish Language Festival of Seachtain na Gaeilge, which began March 1st and that they acknowledge the fantastic work being done by groups in County Louth to keep the language alive. Seachtain na Gaeilge is the biggest Irish Language Festival in the calendar and I propose that Louth County Council mark this and invite Conradh na Gaeilge to present to this council, at a future date when restrictions allow, an outline of how an Ghaeilge could be better supported in County Louth.