Tuesday, 14 June 2005
Dáil Eireann Debate
714. Mr. Connolly asked the Minister for Education and Science if she proposes to establish a Traveller education unit as recommended by the task force on Traveller education, to oversee the development of Traveller education strategies to ensure the maximum benefit by Travellers from education; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19313/05]
Minister for Education and Science (Ms Hanafin): A joint working group drawn from the educational disadvantage committee and the advisory committee on Traveller education was established in autumn 2003 and is preparing a five-year Traveller education strategy. It is expected that a draft strategy from the joint working group will be completed by autumn 2005. Subsequently, the draft five year Traveller education strategy will be presented to me as a submission of the educational disadvantage committee.
The main focus of the Traveller education strategy process has been to review-evaluate existing activities, the wide range of inputs, the quality of outcomes and the experience of Traveller learners. One of the core issues it is addressing relates to how existing targeted educational support for Travellers might best be integrated, on a phased basis into an enhanced mainstream provision. The strategy will provide recommendations on the way forward in relation to Traveller education.
My Department is confident that its current approach of co-ordinating delivery of services by its various sections is the most appropriate way to provide Travellers with a quality education that takes cognisance of their culture and their educational needs.
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