In Peace Apart

Integrated Education, the answer to a peaceful future?

The Nerve Centre released a short film, In Peace Apart, in early December depicting two school girls from different traditions in Northern Ireland swapping school uniforms, one from the Catholic tradition and the other from the Protestant tradition.

The film, which is part of the Teaching Divided Histories project in Northern Ireland, calls to end segregation in our school system, where schools are locally considered either Catholic or Protestant.

In Northern Ireland most schools have a school uniform. According to the Department of Education, “the wearing of a school uniform in the north of Ireland is not governed by legislation but falls to schools to determine.”

In the Guidance on School Uniform Policy produced by the DENI, it states that “School uniform can play a valuable role by: instilling pride; supporting positive behaviour and discipline; encouraging identity with, and support for, the school ethos; ensuring pupils of all races and backgrounds feel welcome; protecting children from social pressures to dress in a particular way; and, nurturing cohesion and promoting good relations between different groups of pupils.”

In the short film, the girls speak out on how these school uniforms define and separate them. “We have been shaped by the legacy of the violence and problems of the past.”

“We are almost 17 years old; we have had little contact with people from the other side of the community.”

While not using school uniforms may not be the way forward, as many schools also believe that school uniform supports effective teaching and learning, the video calls on the importance of integrated education in our school system. A topic which has been at the forefront of the news recently with the Department of Education draft budget proposing to reduce NICIE’s budget of £665,000 by £100,000 to £565,000. The proposed cut will severely impact upon the work of NICIE, which challenges the segregated system of education we have in Northern Ireland, and Supports the development of the integrated model of education.

“Can we make sure the next generation does not grow up segregated as we have?” “What if all the children starting school today…sat beside someone from a different religion on their first day of school? If we are to move forward together surely that should be the first step.”

74 Comments

  1. Denis Campbell Jan 04, 2015 - 03:56 PM

    It is one important answer – unlike ‘shared’ education which not only perpetuates the division but emphasises it because they will be segregated schools.Yet all the parties have fallen for this daft ‘shared’ idea. Of course ‘sharing’ will keep certain religious factions in control as always, so, as usual, the spineless politicians will obey that which comes from the pulpit.

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  2. Brendan McConville Jan 04, 2015 - 03:56 PM

    Why are we trying to build our future on our children when we the adults can’t and won’t share. Look at Twaddell and the Counter Protest Marches. Is this a foundation for trust. What is the political purpose if Integrated Education. Surely the Moy school is not an example. Waste of public money. Excuse for forced integration and all know it

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  3. Kenny McDonagh Jan 04, 2015 - 03:56 PM

    The system of integrated education currently in operation seeks nothing more than to create a lovely generic breed of Northern Irish citizens, completely ignoring the rich traditions of both the Irishmen and Unionists in NI. Is it any wonder the DUP support it, what a better way to destroy the Irish identity. This will never work, 90% of Irish parents send their children to CCMS, any forced integration will only further ignite tensions. Any future that does not respect and promote unite in difference will never work. I for one and every Irishmen ive ever met agree with that.

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  4. Brendan McConville Jan 04, 2015 - 03:57 PM

    Catholic parents struggled to open and retain Catholic Schools as they value education No one has the right to sacrifice it for a short term political fix. State schools are excellent schools They are open to all and should be funded Integrated Education should be funded on the same equal basis. Let’s find a political solution rather than place the burden on teachers parents and children. Where does the funds come from —- usa. Or Chuck Feeney.

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  5. Dixie Crystals Jan 04, 2015 - 03:57 PM

    As far as I know integrated schools are for all abilities and religions and cultures and celebrate each and every one…it’s not just about orange and green. It introduces kids from a young age to all the social diversity of Norn Iron and all the social aspects of life that I for one was kept segregated from as a child. Shared education however, which is the new baby, is a close copy of the school system which was introduced into the balkans after the war and it is all the proof you need to see keeping kids apart in the same complex attracts division. We need to stop the fear about traditions we are kept divided from…Norn Iron politicians from the two main parties have been doing this for generations to divide and conquer…there is NOTHING in it for them if they encourage us all to get along. We need to start somewhere and why not young minds.

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  6. Arlene Logue Jan 05, 2015 - 03:56 PM

    Seen it i thought it was brilliant i tried to put it on the youth page but it wouldn’t go on so if you can put it on for me zoe i would be greatful thanks arlene

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  7. Bill Lunney Jan 11, 2015 - 03:57 PM

    Well said Dixie – you’ve got it .

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  8. John Harron Jan 11, 2015 - 03:58 PM

    Kenny, are you saying that Unionists are not Irish?

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  9. Amos Greig Jan 11, 2015 - 03:58 PM

    Many families in working class Protestant communities feel that integrated education is an attack on their culture and the education traditions of going to the same school as mum and dad. This came to light when a school in the Ballysillan area came under threat of closure. A report last year showed that in some communities families will send their children to whichever school will give them a better education no matter the religion. Saint Columbanus in Bangor has at last check a 50/50 split in Protestant and Catholic students and some predominately Protestant schools have around 4% Catholic student populations. There will always be attempts to play on community fears of ;losing a sense of community. The same issues face integrated housing a development in Antrim which was designed to be mixed found that it suffered from what the ACNI called a lack of community identity their solution? A sculpture. Seriously.

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  10. Councillor Kellie Armstrong Jan 11, 2015 - 03:58 PM

    as a catholic I chose to send my daughter to an integrated school. I was concerned that by sending her to a non-catholic school she might reject her cultural identity, not complete her sacraments etc. It was a concern I shared with many other parents. But it was a concern that was quickly forgotten once I got over my ‘baggage’. She received the same religious education as the children in the nearby local catholic primary school and completed all her sacraments. As a catholic my surprise has been how her experience of true integration has enabled her to have a much better understanding and acceptance of cultural identity and difference. Children in an integrated school are not taught to be bland or to ignore difference but are encouraged to talk openly about their own and others cultural identities – in a respectful way. As a parent I am amazed that her understanding of difference and identity means she accepts who she is and is very comfortable challenging anyone who disrespects her culture or the culture of any of her friends.My whole family has benefited from the experience. If my generation (Troubles kids) had gone to integrated schools perhaps our wee country would not be faced with the ongoing problems it still has.

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  11. John Harron Jan 11, 2015 - 03:58 PM

    Did a survey last year not show that 80% of parents wanted to send their children to Integrated Schools

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  12. Amos Greig Jan 11, 2015 - 03:59 PM

    Around 70 to 80% I’m not sure though were all was surveyed.

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  13. Amos Greig Jan 11, 2015 - 03:59 PM

    My nieces go to Integrated schools

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  14. Trevor Greene Jan 11, 2015 - 04:00 PM

    Even in the 1980’s when we were getting Hazelwood going, the surveys were indicating support at 75%. We need our politicians to give better support to families and communities who are not currently being given the option to choose the integrated path for their children

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  15. Councillor Kellie Armstrong Jan 11, 2015 - 04:00 PM

    And the new ‘mixed’ community that comprises mixed marriages/cultures. We want integrated education because sectarian division/segregating children on the basis of religion is out with our identity. I no longer want my child to be identified by her religious affiliation or by my (her mothers) religious background. Religion forms part of education, it should not form the basis of education

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  16. Amos Greig Jan 11, 2015 - 04:00 PM

    We need our politicians and community workers to help those who live in entrenched communities that Integrated education isn’t an attack on their heritage.

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  17. Amos Greig Jan 11, 2015 - 04:01 PM

    I believe that it may be a mix of the two.

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  18. Dixie Crystals Jan 11, 2015 - 04:01 PM

    I think a lot of people are afraid of change…fueled by generations of politicians spreading fear and lies….which a lot of them are still doing.

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  19. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:01 PM

    John that is fairly self explanatory, they are unionists, they don’t class themselves as Irish but British. To call a unionist irish is as offensive as calling a nationalist british, or do you not actually know any unionists? Btw I refer to the NI form of unionism that proudly celebrates and cherishes its heritage and british identity.

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  20. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:02 PM

    If the statistics for supporting integrated education is so high, why do the vast majority of Irish identifying parents send their children to CCMS schools, CCMS schools are full, and most of those who go on to be teachers having gone to a CCMS school go to St Mary’s teacher training college etc.
    Integrated schools are a valuable option, but by no means can they become a replacement as parents simply will not stand for it.
    I use the word Irish identifying because increasingly people are less likely to identify with a religion, but they still proudly support the CCMS, it’s where they went, they know it, it is a wonderful provider of education, it promotes their community identity etc.

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  21. Bill Lunney Jan 11, 2015 - 04:02 PM

    I think most parents cling to the old systems because of the snobbery associated with a Grammar School education

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  22. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:02 PM

    That’s the point, sociologically that has not been proven correct by any poll, it is a personal opinion. At least Bill you say it’s a personal opinion, an objective truth, yet some here present it as an absolute truth. Like it or not, sociological research has proven time and time again that the majority of Irish identifying people in NI do support CCMS, and that support is based on their culture, community identity, personal experiences and shared beliefs. The majority are in fact proud of the existence of CCMS, even when they are not fussed on the Roman Church.

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  23. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:02 PM

    If we are truly anti-sectarian as proposed, then accepting the existence of the Catholic education sector is of the utmost importance. Everyone in this country has their own opinion and like it or not, there is tremendous support for the existence of the CCMS, you may not agree with it, and may prefer integrated education, but you cannot force your own opinions which are objective truths on anyone else as absolute truth. That is not anti-sectarian, that is ta willingness to be accepting and tolerant on your own terms.

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  24. Fergal McGuckin Jan 11, 2015 - 04:03 PM

    Some people seem to be confused between genuine integrated education and the complete misnomer that is ‘shared education’. Shared education, as represented by the lunacy of the Moy proposal, is a DUP-SF construct and has nothing whatever to do with genuine integration. It is a mechanism whereby the big two can fudge their statutory responsibilities towards supporting the development and growth of proper integrated education. A disgraceful dereliction of duty and abject failure of the people of NI, who are overwhelmingly in favour of it’s further development.

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  25. Councillor Kellie Armstrong Jan 11, 2015 - 04:03 PM

    Kenny what is Catholic education? I went to a
    Catholic primary and grammar – apart from sacraments and the London board RE o’ level, all the other subjects I studied were the same as those studied by people in other schools. My daughter is being raised a Catholic and goes to an integrated school. She was prepared for her sacraments by a suitable teacher and the local priest – integrated schools do not remove religion or ignore cultural needs, they accept and embrace them. Why can’t we take the religious based segregation out of schools and just let kids be kids – without division. By understanding difference we learn that to tolerate is only half way there (like shared education). It’s when acceptance is a given we become non-sectarian

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  26. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:04 PM

    By universal definition councillor, it refers to the official education sectors of the Catholic Church. Read official documents, it is an official term. That does not exclude those that gain Catholic instruction elsewhere, but my terminology is academically correct.

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  27. Bill Lunney Jan 11, 2015 - 04:04 PM

    I honestly think the Americans have the right idea, where, as I understand it, religion is kept out of the public education system – I know our schools were started bt Churches, but in a modern democracy they have no place in publicly funded education.

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  28. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:04 PM

    In your opinion it doesn’t, categorical truth, by no means an absolute truth.

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  29. Councillor Kellie Armstrong Jan 11, 2015 - 04:04 PM

    Again I ask what is Catholic education? Is it the church wanting a separate system or is there something different in the teaching? If the school is to receive state funding then they must accept children from whatever background. So again what is Catholic or Methodist or COE etc. education? Should education be for educating children irrespective of their faith?

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  30. Councillor Kellie Armstrong Jan 11, 2015 - 04:04 PM

    Having been through a segregated school system I can honestly say I enjoyed it, got a good education but really don’t see what segregation offered. I came out of a system that was contrived to separate. How can a segregated system prepare a child for uni or the workplace where there are no barriers and it is illegal to be sectarian

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  31. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:04 PM

    The official definition is summed up completely here:

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  32. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:05 PM
  33. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:05 PM

    Having gone to Cross and Passion College Ballycastle, I can truthfully say that there was no sectarianism or segregation promoted or permitted by the school, having partnered up with Ballycastle High School, as part of the PIRCH project. The PIRCH project is what I hold true in my heart to be the only true way forward for education in this country.
    Throughout the school years, we were very close in partnership with the High School, and in sixth form we were joined together as two individual schools, with different ethos and identities, yet sharing classes and much more together.
    Read up on the PIRCH project, it will explain fully what I am trying to argue as the future of education in this country.

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  34. Councillor Kellie Armstrong Jan 11, 2015 - 04:05 PM

    Sorry Kenny as a
    Past pupil of Catholic education I can confirm being educated with only Catholics dismisses a whole aspect of cultural education. This is not a dig at Catholic schools. Anyone educated with only Protestants or any other segregated faith group also misses out. Education provides the student with the ability to learn, grow and develop. Faith and understanding of faith and its role in society is part of that process but it should not be the reason to segregate children.

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  35. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:05 PM

    Then im sorry that you did not experience the PIRCH project in your school.

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  36. Councillor Kellie Armstrong Jan 11, 2015 - 04:06 PM

    If the growth part was the part when children could mix together then why not let them mix all the time – imagine what we/they could achieve without barriers

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  37. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:06 PM

    The fundamental root of why CPC and BHS work so well is that they are united by the SEP (shared education project) that allowed us to retain our justified pride in our education sectors, our school ethos, our own identity and still be joined together for certain classes.
    I’m not against shared education im for it, I just believe from personal experience that the PIRCH and SEP projects are the way to do it.
    We should not be expected to assimilate into one NI hybrid, but to United with acceptance and appreciation for the cultures, faiths and ideologies of both sides of the community. That is what the SEP and PIRCH projects succeed at much better than integrated education.
    I distrust anything that tries to overcome and ignore our unique differences in order to force us together as integrated education does. I prefer a model that retains our beautiful uniqueness as things, bringing both together peacefully and with appreciation.
    Integrated education is a good idea, but I think it is wrong, the SEP and PIRCH projects do it so much better.

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  38. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:06 PM

    Thanks to the SEP and PIRCH projects, I have retained all of my friendships with those from the High School, yet we don’t ignore what makes us different, we understand and appreciate it.

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  39. Bill Lunney Jan 11, 2015 - 04:07 PM

    Surely the only “different” part is the religion classes. The rest is the same as it is the common ciriculum. If we leave religious teaching to the Churches and religious organisations, what needs to be united? – I rest my case!

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  40. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:07 PM

    Well no, we were taught Irish compulsorily until we chose our GCSE subjects.
    History focused for a large part on Ireland.
    PE focused primarily on hurling, camogie and Gaelic, the rest being secondary.
    Music had a special focus on the time whistle, the boron and other irish instruments and compositions.
    RE covered the other denominations and religions, but with a special focus on catholicism, it’s teachings, moral stances and biblical interpretations, though never forcing it down your throat and always giving space for open and frank discussion.
    I could go on and on, suffice to say that those things that truly matter to us were

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  41. Bill Lunney Jan 11, 2015 - 04:07 PM

    And do you think that system should be retained?

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  42. Amos Greig Jan 11, 2015 - 04:07 PM

    I went to a Catholic Primary school in Antrim when we moved to Belfast I went to a Protestant Primary School and Secondary School our classes were aimed at Economics,English lit and language, French, some local history but not much more than the Titanic and the Potato Famine for sport we got football, basketball, rugby and track and field. We got no Irish be it language,sport or music. RE covered Matthew, Mark and Luke and also Islam. The differences are part of the reason why we still have a divided society.

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  43. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:07 PM

    The differences are why we still have a divided society? Lmao that is hilarious. So in your opinion the only acceptable thing for NI’s future is to give up on anything that is unique about our communities and opt for a generic NI identity? What exactly would that entail? Reject anything Irish and have everyone forced to embrace being British? Reject everything British and force everyone to be Northern Irish? That is why I am wholly in favour of shared education but deeply opposed to integrated. This has nothing to do with sectarianism, it’s about cutting ties with our communities and forming a new generic model. I’m sorry but I will never accept that, and I guarantee the vast majority in both communities will not either. The future lies in unity of differences, embracing that there are two very different communities in NI, but that just because we are different doesn’t mean that we cannot live peacefully in acceptance, support and friendship.

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  44. Trevor Greene Jan 11, 2015 - 04:09 PM

    The arguement is not about which is best system. The argument is that parents should be able to choose how their children are educated. That choice has been denied in the past and remains practically a difficult choice because of the relatively few integrated schools which have received government support. Is anyone seeking to deny the opportunity for parents to make those choices without having to bus their children to the nearest integrated school?

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  45. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:09 PM

    I agree with what you have said Trevor, it should be an option for those that wish to avail of it. It just should be forced upon those that don’t.

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  46. Trevor Greene Jan 11, 2015 - 04:09 PM

    I see Kenny you put up a poster celebrating diversity. Integration is not about producing clones without distinctiveness. It is about mutually recognising and celebrating difference and the rich diversity in our society.

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  47. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:09 PM

    I firmly believe, fully accepting it to be merely a categorical truth, that integrated education fails to do this without sacrificing our diversity. As I say it is only a categorical truth based on personal experience and not an absolute truth, but it is enough to convince me that I will never support the demise of the current sector for anything other than the two projects that I mentioned earlier. For me it doesn’t work, but that doesn’t mean I’m sectarian, I share its ideals, I just don’t feel integrated education is the right way to go about it.

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  48. Trevor Greene Jan 11, 2015 - 04:09 PM

    20% of the population do not favour the integrated approach and I am hppy to defend their right to that opinion and furthermore that provision should be in place for their children to allow them the choice of how their children shoud be educated. What I have always argued is that all parents should have a real choice in how their child is educated…… including the design of the curriculum…

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  49. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:10 PM

    Of the 80% that are, the majority are only in favour of it being an option, not in it being a replacement to the current model, 90% of Catholics still fully support CCMS. Queen’s were clear in teaching that.

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  50. Kenny McDonagh Jan 11, 2015 - 04:10 PM

    The other issue is, I wasn’t asked nor was anyone i know, so apart from estimation which is little more than guess work, how can this be taken seriously?

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  51. Brain G. Scott Jan 11, 2015 - 04:10 PM

    Of course it’s the right option. That’s why the tossers in the Palace of Disasters are so opposed. Bring up kids together in a secular education system and they’ll soon catch on to what a bunch of outdated, sectarian ******* our ‘politicians’ are!

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  52. Councillor Kellie Armstrong Jan 11, 2015 - 04:10 PM

    Kenny I still don’t get what you cal a Catholic education. The Irish elements of schooling you describe are contained in integrated education – Irish is taught, my girl plays Camogie, history is as is taught in every school. She also does citizenship classes and a class on understanding and respecting diversity. Her cultural background is more secure because she knows it is valued as much as everyone else’s. Why see integration as an erosion of a specific culture when you could see it as an opportunity to further develop that culture with students who would be denied access to it in the current segregated set up. Catholics who attend integrated education are not being denied access to cultural identifiers – as a parent I am responsible for who and what my child comes into contact with. I don’t believe a school should replace the parental role. Surely school should be part of what forms a child’s education and not the only source of learning.

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  53. Fergal McGuckin Jan 11, 2015 - 04:11 PM

    Lenny, you seem to think that Integrated Education would erode a persons identity in favour some form of generic mono-culture. This couldn’t be further from the truth and is a gross misrepresentation. I teach in the sector and I can assure that this is not the case! If you were secure in your own cultural and nationalist identity you would have nothing to fear. What you propose is akin to the Separate but Equal Doctrine as practiced in pre-50s USA. Brown Vs Education Board Topeka 1954 put paid to that, as separate is inherently unequal. What are you afraid of, Kenny?

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  54. Bill Lunney Jan 11, 2015 - 04:11 PM

    Remember folks, we say we want a non sectarian N Ireland – advocating retention of the status quo is hardly going to advance this -” if it is broke it needs to be fixed” (in my opinion!)

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  55. Fergal McGuckin Jan 11, 2015 - 04:11 PM

    ‘Kenny’ even!

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  56. John Harron Jan 11, 2015 - 04:11 PM

    Exactly Bill, continuing to segregate children at the age of 4 or 5, inculcating a sense of difference, is hardly conducive to helping create a non-sectarian society

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  57. Brain G. Scott Jan 11, 2015 - 04:11 PM

    You can get the impression from the slabberings emanating from the Palace of Disasters that there is an Orange/DUP New Testament in which Christ says ‘Suffer the little Prods to come onto me…’, and a Green/SF one in which Christ says ‘Suffer the little Taigs to come onto me….’! The thought of secular education with parents responsible for ensuring the religious education they see fit is anathema to both blocs!

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  58. Steve Herron Jan 11, 2015 - 04:12 PM

    Integrated education is vital in the kind of society we want. Sectarianism is a learned behaviour, if you can nip it in the bud at a young age this can only be a good thing.
    Many people in this country have zero exposure to their opposites until they go into further and higher education or start in the work place. By then it can be too late. They grew up ignorant of other cultures and are near enough adults by the time they do reluctantly mix.

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  59. Noelle McCavana Jan 11, 2015 - 04:12 PM

    Personal opinion coming up here! Integrated education is not the answer. Secular education is. End of personal opinion.

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  60. Anne Odling-Smee Jan 11, 2015 - 04:12 PM

    An option is what Integrated schools should be for those who want to educate their children together No one is forced to go to one. Since 2007 there has been a virtual bar put on new schools and many wished for expansions seems to be changing. Since 2007 several thousand children have either been turned away from Int. Schools or there has been none. Their choice is then between a Catholic or Protestant school. This is not just or wise or necessary.

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  61. Steve Herron Jan 11, 2015 - 04:12 PM

    I would accept secular education too. I know that in younger schools a lot of time is wasted preparing for communion etc. I’ve no problem with kids getting communion but not during time that should be devoted to education. Let the kids prepare in their own time. Either in after school classes or on a Sunday in their church.

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  62. Dixie Crystals Jan 11, 2015 - 04:12 PM

    In a perfect world Noelle education should be a separate entity from any outside influence such as religion but it’s set in law so until the law changes integration is the only option for any hope for the future here….btw atheists are also welcome in integrated schools

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  63. Noelle McCavana Jan 11, 2015 - 04:13 PM

    Will try. Shared and integrated education is segregated education on its best behaviour. Still the stress on ‘we’re like this and you’re like that, but it’s fine’. It’s not fine! The French educational system is secular, leaving religious responsibility to parents. Schools which wish to promote a particular ethos receive no state funding. Does this create a nation of clones? Don’t think so!

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  64. Noelle McCavana Jan 11, 2015 - 04:13 PM

    Dixie, are you absolutely sure about the atheists?

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  65. Dixie Crystals Jan 11, 2015 - 04:13 PM

    I’m on your side with this Noelle..Personally I think the days of religious orders being in charge or having any influence for that matter, over schools or hospitals are well over but a lot of people think they should have some input…and I try to understand why? others are just as entitled to their opinions, as much as I may strongly disagree. Just to say I don’t have a problem with religion as a theory..in fact i think it sounds lovely…the problem starts with me with the people who put themselves in charge….and a lot of them can aggressively use their faith like a weapon, battering away at anybody who dares to disagree with them. Mix that with politics and you have a recipe for disaster…and we have this happening here…in Norn Iron …right now. Educating kids about people from all faiths, backgrounds and cultures takes away the ignorance and fear of “themuns” we have all been entrenched in for generations..which in turn will weaken the sectarian politics which has been made stronger by dividing our cultures…

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  66. Dixie Crystals Jan 11, 2015 - 04:13 PM

    Noelle..yes about the atheists or non religious…I have family and friends who are non religious and their kids went to integrated schools..hahahaha…who else would have the heathens!! Tell you..it was an amazing sight to see their kids birthday parties..house was filled with Billy and Sinead (of course) with kids from Pakistan, India, Afganistan, Poland, Russia and a wee kid in a wheel chair all playing pass the parcel with a wee Downs kid doing the music…tell ye if Carlsberg could do cross community kids parties???

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  67. Gráinne Tobin Jan 11, 2015 - 04:13 PM

    Dixie is right. I know two integrated schools well, had kids at them and taught in one. The acceptance of different backgrounds and religious and political beliefs is genuine: children do not end up becoming clones or greyed-out, middle-of-the-road citizens without identity. They just have a wider experience of other kids and their families and are not scared of people who are not like them.

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  68. John Harron Jan 11, 2015 - 04:14 PM

    Is this progressive? Is this a way and means to move forwards? Rhetorical questions really, I know, from personal experience, the value of integrated education, it saved me and rescued me from a dangerous path – when I was 15 years old – in 1972, the worst years of” the troubles”

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  69. Dixie Crystals Jan 11, 2015 - 05:14 PM

    Have to say as well…the kids all got on like a house on fire, with no problems asking each other questions and just answering honestly and by the evening they could all say the word fart in all their different languages…whilst the adults all felt awkward and embarrassed with their differences, the kids embraced it. That day was proof enough for me that integrating our kids is the way forward for Norn Iron. They can teach us a lot.

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  70. John Harron Jan 11, 2015 - 05:14 PM

    That was not unsimilar to my experience Dixie, more than 40 years ago. Perhaps Paul Doherty could expand on this. an old schoolfriend.

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  71. Steve Herron Jan 11, 2015 - 05:14 PM

    One thing that sticks in my mind is a Dennis Leary quote, he was referring to racism but it applies. “I got a 1 year old son, he hates one thing only. Naps”. Racism, sexism sectarianism and all other messed up isms are learned behaviour. Integrated education means that sectarian behaviour at very worst is eroded.

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  72. Kerena Crowe Jan 11, 2015 - 05:15 PM

    Makes me mad the current proposals for ‘shared ‘ education are doublespeak for segregation and directly contrary to the good Friday agreement

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  73. Thalia Jul 09, 2015 - 06:29 AM

    This post def has the most commenters here, this seems the only thing the people in NI wanna talk about!!

    Reply

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