• Change the 20 Irish essays for leaving cert students back to 10!
    In the past couple of years we have had a tough time with students who have entered secondary school , with missing months of school and not being able to get the education we needed and yes we had google classroom but what good is talking to a screen and being afraid to ask questions and so on. The leaving cert students from the past couple of years have had 10 essays to do in higher and lower Irish leaving cert exams and now they are trying to make the next set of leaving cert students do 20 essays .I think this is absolutely unacceptable as we as either third year , transitions year or fifth year students have not got the education we we’re supposed to. We missed out on two whole years of learning due to the coronavirus and I think it is unfair to change the amount now when they still have students in their schools who did not get their full education in secondary school, sure their are students who can definitely do it and most likely pass but the amount of students who’s attendances has dropped since 2020 is huge their have been 24.7m school days lost from 2019 September to 2022 summer. I think it is unfair to ask of us to do 20 essays and us not have a say and lose marks all because they don’t wanna be considerate of the students who didn’t get their full potential education in secondary school. Maybe in the next upcoming years when all is back to normal and anyone who went to secondary school during covid is out of school and done their leaving they can talk about bringing it in but I believe we have a voice too and we should be allowed to act against this because I as a transition year student can confidently say I am not prepared to do 20 full essays in Irish as I feel I could just about do 10 never mind 20 and I think it’s unfair to quite literally set us up to lose marks when these 20 essays could be the reason we lose the marks we need to go onto do what we wanna do in the future and miss out the opportunity to go to our dream college. Thank you for taking the time to read my petition and I really hope you consider signing it as it’s our only chance to make a change before our leaving cert.
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    Created by Emma Mcginley
  • No Neutrality In The Face Of Genocide in Gaza
    *This description is extracted from a broader counter-statement endorsed by multiple societies against an email sent by Maynooth University, which can be read here https://publuu.com/flip-book/392331/889456 * I am a student/staff of Maynooth University and you do not have my support in your statement regarding the Israeli Apartheid of Palestine. It is disgraceful to email the community 3 days after the International Court of Justice's decision that there was a plausible case for Israel to answer and ordering it to take action to "prevent genocide". The fact of the matter is that choosing neutrality instead of taking a stance against Israel's ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people is enabling a continued violation of human rights. Your statement was released within the minute following your call for submissions regarding Social Justice Week. It is deeply hypocritical to discuss the concept of peace but choose not to actively support the ceasefire in your position of influence. I compare your actions to Maynooth University's statement condemning the invasion of Ukraine only one day after Russian launched their military campaign. Thus, your statement is a clear demonstration of Maynooth University's endorsement of the current atrocities being committed by the Israeli government. over 750,000 Palestinians were expelled and over 6,000 Palestinians were killed as part of an ethnic cleansing decades before the 7th of October . To be pro-Palestinian is not ‘anti-Semitic’ but critical of Israel’s state-sponsored terrorism in pursuit of a Jewish homeland in the Middle East. Indeed, such claim is an effort to silence teachings about the Palestine cause. This is not an equal-sided conflict but an anti-colonial war which an Irish university should viscerally understand the impact of. Since the 7th of October, all universities in Gaza have been annihilated and the Israeli-occupied West Bank is being illegally struck by drones. Moreover, since the 7th of October, over 25,000 Palestinian people have been murdered by Israel; thousand-year-old native olive trees of Bethlehem have been uprooted; and over 1.5 million Palestinians have been displaced across the Gaza strip. In other words, the number of students and staff currently attending Maynooth has been killed twice. Do not misunderstand, I am appalled by the 7th of October attack. Yet, I also acknowledge that Hamas was financially supported by the Israeli military and politicians for years and mere months prior to the 7th of October to destabilise Palestinian democracy. The Israeli government has been creating propaganda targeting the Western audience to dismiss decades of the Palestinian genocide as a 'right to defend itself’ . Vice-President, your EDI office and the executives have failed to showcase the critical analysis about global humanitarian issues that this academic institution aims to foster in our students and Staff. Although your email claimed to portray the university as neutral, this is far from the truth due to the continuation of the university’s connection with companies profiting from this genocide, such as Starbucks and Intel, with the latter just recently donating a grant of €150,000 to the building of a new robotics lab on campus. Intel operates four development and production sites in Israel, including a manufacturing plant 42km from the Gaza strip. Amid the genocide, Intel announced its plan to expand the Kiryat gat plant, with Netanahu saying it was the largest investment ever in Israel, and the Israeli Finance minister stating “This investment, at a time when Israel wages war against utter wickedness, a war in which good must defeat evil, is an investment in the right and righteous values that spell progress for humanity,”. The university must divest from Israeli-affiliated companies, boycott products supporting Israel and pressure the Irish government to demand an internationally-enforced ceasefire now. As Desmond Tutu famously said ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice have chosen the side of the oppressor’.
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    Created by Conor Tormey
  • SEN Reform in Northern Ireland: URGENT ACTION REQUIRED
    All children can learn. All children have a right to an education and we need to stand up for some of the most vulnerable children in our community who are being denied an education.
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    Created by Emma Morgan
  • BE YOU AT SCHOOL - join the campaign to allow kids wear their own clothes at school
    It is not natural to put children into uniforms for all of their childhood. Be in no doubt that they sap some of the light and levity out of the child and out of the school. They introduce fear and conflict because they involve enforcement, punishments, reprimands, and alienation. Schools become that bit more hostile to many children. Teachers waste enormous amounts of time enforcing and harassing and haranguing students about the clothes they are wearing and very stupid things like the colour of their shoelaces. They are expensive, restrictive, uncomfortable, oppressive and outdated. They reflect a right-wing conservative need for ultra-conformity to control children. In France it is Le Pen's neo-Nazi's who want to introduce uniforms. They are counter to modern educational philosophy which values plurality, problem-solving, creativity and self-expression. Ireland and Malta are the only two EU countries with this widespread practice, both with a British colonial past and a widespread smothering conservative, Catholic control of schools. It is a myth that uniforms protect children from bullying. In the wider European continent, out of 40 countries, uniforms are the norm in eight, and all eight of those report above average levels of bullying (Statista 2018). Rather than trying to make everyone look the same (impossible anyhow) by enforcing ridiculous dress and appearance rules, better for school to focus on developing children's ability to be resilient, accept themselves and other people for who they are in all their wonderful human diversity.
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    Created by Gearóid Ó Riain Picture
  • Killester Raheny Clontarf needs a new secondary school
    The Killester Raheny Clontarf school planning area (KRC SPA) has seven secondary schools. All are taxpayer-funded and all are controlled by religious institutions. Five of the schools are single-sex. Of the remaining two schools, one prioritises children from Protestant backgrounds and the other is a small Catholic school. We have raised this issue repeatedly with the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, through representations in the Dáil. Through questions to her Department we have learned that there is a serious lack of secondary school places in the KRC SPA. The statistics we received from the Department of Education show, for example, that year after year between 60% and 70% of boys who finish sixth class in the KRC SPA leave the area for secondary school. This is unsurprising as only one of the single-sex schools mentioned above caters for boys. The schools in our area are already oversubscribed and the statistics show we need a new one. We need a school that offers parents a choice. Please sign the petition and let’s make sure it’s a non-religious school that boys and girls can attend together.
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    Created by Paddy Monahan
  • Lower the voting age to 16 years old in Northern Ireland!
    Young people across the UK and Ireland currently live in an electoral postcode lottery. 16 and 17 year olds in Scotland and Wales are allowed to vote in local and Parliamentary elections, while their peers in Northern Ireland cannot.  Scotland and Wales join a host of other nations across the world which have chosen to extend voting rights to their young citizens, including: • Austria • Brazil • Cuba • Ecuador • Parts of Germany • Greece • Malta • Nicaragua, and more! Young people living in Northern Ireland feel disenfranchised and unsupported by our political system. Lowering the voting age to 16 will give our young people a democratic voice, ensuring that their voices can be heard on the issues that matter to them.  Why now? Recent comments by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in support of votes at 16 have sparked some heated public debate on the issue. Many of the arguments put forward have been based on assumptions about young people's behaviour, maturity and competence. But we no longer need to rely on assumptions - we can look at the international evidence!  1. Young people are capable and engaged  - when faced with situations that require unhurried, deliberate consideration - 'cold cognition' - 16 year olds demonstrate judgement as mature as that of adults. In the weeks and months before an election, young people have time to use their cold cognition skills, gathering evidence and talking to their friends, family and peers before making an informed decision. 2.  Many young people are political activists and campaigners - globally and locally, 16 and 17 year olds have campaigned for climate action, better mental health services, RSE and much more. 3. Young people have minds of their own - it's true that in most European countries, young people tend to support left-leaning parties in higher numbers than adults. But just like adults, young people hold a range of views and opinions from across the political spectrum (see trends in Austria, Germany and Scotland) 4. Younger voters are lifelong voters - at age 18, many young people are in a transitional phase of life - leaving school, starting uni or work, moving out of the family home or their hometown. They might not be familiar with local issues and candidates, or with voting registration systems and requirements. These conditions can dampen rates of voter turnout. But at the ages of 16 and 17, young people are more likely to in environments with strong socialisation influences, like the family home and school. Evidence from Scotland shows that when they are given the right to vote, 16 and 17 year olds turn out in greater numbers than those aged 18 - 24! 5. Respect for fairness and equality - young people aren't just citizens of the future - they're full and equal citizens now! At the age of 16, young people in NI can work, pay taxes, provide care for loved ones, get married and serve in the Armed Forces. They're an active and valuable part of society - why shouldn't they have a say in how things are governed? The importance of education When 16 and 17 year olds are granted the right to vote in Northern Ireland, it is vital that this is accompanied by plans to develop high-quality civic education. Deliberative political literacy education can help to mitigate inequalities in political knowledge, confidence and participation from the earliest possible stages. Schools and youth organisations have a crucial role to play in empowering, supporting and encouraging young people to engage meaningfully with politics.  Credit for Image: Bulat Silvia
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    Created by Rebekah Corbett
  • Léirigh Luach ar an Teagasc trí Ghaeilge - Tabhair ar ais an Liúntas
    Tá géarchéim san earnáil lán-Ghaeilge agus Ghaeltachta ó thaobh soláthar múinteoirí le blianta fada. Eascraíonn sé as ganntanas múinteoirí ag an dá leibhéal a bhfuil an cumas cuí teanga acu le múineadh i scoil lán-Ghaeilge/Ghaeltachta. Is ionann an liúntas le haghaidh múneadh trí Ghaeilge agus €1,785 in aghaidh na bliana do mhúinteoirí a bhí ag múineadh roimh Nollaig 2011. Baineadh dhá liúntas eile de mhúinteoirí nua ag an an céanna; liúntas do mhúinteoirí i scoileanna Gaeltachta agus an liúntas dóibh ag múineadh ar na hoileáin. Tá luach €3,455 ar an liúntas Gaeltachta agus €2,078 ar an liúntas do mhúinteoirí i scoileanna oileáin. Ó cuireadh deireadh leis an liúntas don teagasc trí Ghaeilge sa bhliain 2011, níl aon dreasacht nó aitheantas ceart á thabhairt do na freagrachtaí móra breise atá i gceist do mhúinteoirí a bhíonn ag múineadh i suíomh lán-Ghaeilge, áit a bhfuil an tumoideachas i bhfeidhm. Tá córais cosúil leis an liúntas i bhfeidhm cheana féin i dtíortha eile ina mbíonn múinteoirí ag obair i suíomhanna dátheangacha nó suíomhanna tumoideachais, ar nós An Nua-Shéalainn, Haváí, agus Ceanada. Creideann Gaeloideachas gur chóir luach ceart a chur ar an obair seo agus aitheantas a thabhairt do na múinteoirí atá á dhéanamh. Mar sin, táimid i mbun abhcóideachta ar an gceist seo, agus bheadh bhur gcuid tacaíochta mar chabhair mhór leis an bhfeachtas agus na teachtaireachtaí thíos a choinneáil i mbéal an phobail. #LuachTríLiúntas
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    Created by Foireann Gaeloideachas
  • Teachers Around the World Demand an Immediate Ceasefire
    We are teachers; we teach children. We teach them about society and how they will grow up to be full participants in society. We teach them about empathy and solidarity; and we teach them, when they see obvious injustice, that they should act. We are horrified to be witnessing a deliberate, catastrophic humanitarian tragedy being inflicted on Gaza. We say this because we do not believe that the killing of children can be justified as "collateral damage," in the pursuit of a murderous, illusory, self-defeating and futile goal. Nor do we accept assurances that efforts are being made to avoid the deaths of children. Since October the 7th, over 13,000 children have died violently in Gaza; 4551 of them were school students. An additional 8,193 children have suffered injuries. We teach children every day, we know that these are not just numbers. Each of these children is as precious as your own child. These are innocent lives, cut short in the most barbaric manner. To date, 231 of our teaching colleagues in Gaza have been murdered, and 762 injured in brutal attacks by the Israeli army, which has been given billions of dollars by the United States to destroy Gaza. Schools - the bastions of hope and enlightenment - are being mercilessly and illegally targeted. A staggering 281 schools have been bombed or damaged; 83 are severely damaged; one-third are inoperable; and seven are utterly destroyed. To compound this tragedy, 133 schools are now makeshift shelters for displaced civilians, clinging to the vain hope that schools will not be targeted. We cannot turn a blind eye to the unambiguous war crimes that are being committed; to the genocidal assertions made by members of the Israeli cabinet; nor to the on-going ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, to facilitiate colonisation of their land. If you also believe that the mass slaughter of children, the assassination of teachers and the destruction of the educational system of Gaza is unacceptable, then we ask you to join us in saying stop. Just stop. Simply stop. We, the undersigned teachers from every corner of the globe, urgently demand you use your influence and resources to champion an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza and in the West Bank. The time for diplomatic solutions and decisive action is now. We demand an immediate permanent ceasefire and the effective application of international law. Your contribution doesn't mean you are pro one group or against another. Your petition means you are pro humanity
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    Created by Teachers for Palestine
  • A 'no carbon' future
    At COP 28, the Irish government spoke on the news about false solutions, like carbon capture and storage. These insufficient solutions are a distraction and so many people around the world know this truth. As young people, we already know that burning fossil fuels is causing climate change and that fossil fuels are responsible for 75% of greenhouse gas emissions. We are the ones that will have to face the climate chaos that we didn’t create. We need to make sure Ireland does not fall into the trap of the fossil fuel industry! Please sign your name and SHARE! Bella, Aya, Zoe, Lucas, Tom, Roisin & Riley! students from North Wicklow Educate Together secondary school
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    Created by North Wicklow Educate Together students
  • Department of Education: Create a REAL Action Plan for Integrated Education
    In 2023, 25 years after the Good Friday Agreement, only 8% of NI kids go to integrated schools despite huge demand. Right now, the Department of Education has a public consultation on their 'Action Plan' and anyone can comment. Tell the Department of Education - we want a REAL Action Plan for integrated education.
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    Created by Adam McGibbon
  • Keep Before5 Centre in Churchfield open
    The Before 5 Centre on Churchfield Hill was founded almost 50 years ago to support families and the community. Closing of the family centre left 100 families without childcare places next week and 14 staff without jobs. Keep the Before 5 Centre open for the families and people in the community. Image credits: Larry Cummins
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  • Save Our Thurles PLC Art Portfolio Course!
    "The Thurles PLC Art Portfolio Course was vital for me to get into Dun Laoghaire Art College, at the time there was a huge amount of applications to IADT in model making for the film industry. I was able to gear my portfolio toward that application. The fundamentals I learned from the PLC Art Course echoed across my whole career. I travelled and worked as a designer model maker on some of the largest movies to date - The Hobbit Trilogy and Avatar - from there I have been a Head of Department on many big budget productions. I value the PLC Art Course more than my actual college degree because of the understanding and foundations in the Art and 3D world it gave me. This would be a big blow to the art community in Thurles and Tipperary, it’s very important the course stays going and I wholeheartedly support and hope it can stay on track for future generations." - Mark Maher, Odyssey Studios. "The course has been a stepping stone for artists for the past 20-25 years under the guidance of a tutor who brings great experience and inspiration to the role. The course served as a platform to construct a quality portfolio under the expert guidance of tutors, crucial for securing college admission. It facilitated lasting friendships across age groups, acted as a midpoint to assess one's collegiate art direction, and offered a delightful hobby or a practical solution for those unable to relocate for college. Thanks to the Art Portfolio Course, I got into and graduated from Limerick School Art and Design with a Bachelor's degree in Animation and Motion Design. Today, I wear multiple creative hats as a graphic designer, animator, and a catalyst for imaginative growth. I facilitate creative workshops catering to people of all ages and abilities. If I did not have a solid foundation at the start of my creative journey I would not have ended up on the same path." - Jennifer Ryan Kelly.
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    Created by Jennifer Ryan Kelly