Jesuit Journal looks at the future of Education in Ireland

June 5, 2012 in 2008

‘Educating Ourselves’ is the theme of the latest edition of the Jesuit periodical Studies, just published this Summer 2008 including an article by educationalist David Tuohy SJ entitled ‘Catholic Schools: Schools for Catholics? Other articles include

“Protestant Schools”.                                   Noel Coghlan
Integration and the role of Catholic Schools     Ferdia Kelly
Intercultural Education                                 Ann Dinan

In his article on Catholic schools or schools for Catholics?  Dr David Tuohy SJ, independent consultant on Education, says that developing a Catholic ethos is very difficult in today’s culture and adds that “The marketing of many Catholic schools, especially fee-paying schools in the Irish context, sits uncomfortably with the Church’s stated pursuit of the common good. To some extent, the success of these schools has exposed flaws in their identity and purpose-what are they and who are they for?”

He also notes that “The debate on the future of “faith-based schools has been very much to the fore in recent months but the arguments put forward ignore the complex issues that underpin educational provision in Ireland.” His article examines those issues.

Former Eurocrat Noel Coghlan looks at the importance of Protestant schools and defends the integrity of ‘faith based schools’. He outlines the significance of ‘ethos’ for parent’s of children in Protestant schools. Though sometimes hard to define, the author believes it is intimately linked to religion and religious values.
Looking at the challenges of educating our migrant children Ann Dinan Director of Education at the Joint Managerial Body for Secondary Schools, says, “The time has come for the government to appoint a National Coordinator of Intercultural Education and to develop a National Integration Policy. A coordinator could foster networking between officials in the departments of education, health welfare and justice.” She outlines the work of the Joint Managerial Body, a group of school principals, civil servants and religious in education who have come together to explore among other issues the challenges of integrating migrant children in our schools.