Increased resources to allow post-primary schools in Donegal to introduce Development Education activities to the classroom were pledged, at the launch of WorldWise Global Schools, in Dublin last Friday.
Speaking at the official launch of the Irish Aid funded programme, being implemented by a consortium that includes development agencies Self Help Africa, Concern Worldwide, and the City of Dublin Education and Training Authority, project director Mary McCarthy said that parts of the country previously under-served by Development Education would be a high priority over the four years of the programme. Compared to other parts of the country, and particularly service provision in the Dublin area and across Leinster, Donegal’s post primary schools had received only very little support to promote and introduce global citizenship activities, she said. A study had shown that Connaught and other parts of rural Ireland were particularly poorly served, she added.
Launching the programme, Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello TD spoke of the importance of increasing awareness of development issues in schools across the country.
Minister Costello said: “Educating students on issues related to development is vitally important. Development education forms a vital part of our efforts to tackle poverty and injustice, to promote peace and democracy and to safeguard human rights across the world. The greatest benefit of development education is that it helps to create better, more effective and engaged global citizens.”
Irish Aid’s ‘WorldWise Global Schools’ will see a blend of education, knowledge and overseas ‘on-the-ground’ experience come together to deliver development education to Irish secondary school students.
This new initiative will be implemented on behalf of Irish Aid, the government’s overseas aid programme, over the next four years by a consortium that includes the City of Dublin Education and Training Board, and Irish NGOs Self Help Africa and Concern Worldwide.
WorldWise Global Schools aims to extend the range and number of Irish post-primary schools incorporating development education activities in the classroom. It will specifically target schools that have traditionally had little or no engagement with development education and will provide support to schools across the country.
WorldWise Global Schools will provide financial support to post-primary schools interested in engaging with development education activities, and provide training and resources for post-primary school teachers to integrate global justice issues in to their teaching.
Designed as a ‘one-stop shop’ for Development Education support at post-primary level, WorldWise Global Schools will work with networks and NGOs to promote effective models of development education across all school activities. Programmes are being designed to support students to gain a deeper understanding as global citizens, while teachers will be supported to integrate global justice issues throughout the curriculum and school life.
Speaking at Friday’s launch, CEO Ray Jordan of Self Help Africa, who leads the new consortium, said that WorldWise Global Schools provides an exciting opportunity to support today’s students to think critically about the world around them, and have a greater understanding of the complex issues that surround inequality, hunger, poverty and human rights.