Battle starts to save Coláiste Lú

Parents and students stage walkout over lack of teaching through Irish in Coláiste Lú
Parents and pupils from Coláiste Lú staged a public protest last Thursday as a result of claims that the LMETB are failing to provide provisions for education through Irish in the school.
The Parents Association claim that the school has reneged on commitments and guarantees given to them as recently as June. As a result they state that they no longer have confidence that the school is willing or able to provide and manage Irish medium education to a standard their children deserve.
Colaiste Lú is an aonad (unit) in Dundalk which was set up to provide deep immersion Irish medium education within an LMETB school (Colaiste ChúChulainn). It is the only Irish medium school in Louth and a key part of the Irish language infrastructure in the North East. The school opened in 2013 and Colaiste Lú Parents Association claim that the school successfully operated a deep immersion ethos until 2018/19 but since then parents and pupils have become concerned over the commitment to deep immersion Irish education.
Following a meeting between the Parents Association and the LMETB at the end of the school year in June 2019 it is claimed by members of the association that commitments were made to maintain and encourage the Irish medium education ethos. Having seen the actions of the school over the first few weeks of the new school term parents have stated that the school has reneged on the commitments made to parents and pupils.
The Parents committee decided to send a letter to the CEO of LMETB and also organised last Thursday’s protest to highlight what they perceive as the crisis currently enveloping the school.
A statement from the parents outlined their main grievances that they would like to see resolved.
“We now have a situation where most of the Coláiste Lú pupils are only being taught Irish through the medium of Irish. The 17 new first year pupils are only being taught Irish and Geography through Irish. Some Coláiste Lú Irish classes are being integrated with Colaiste ChúChulainn pupils which results in completely asymmetrical learning. All other subjects are being taught through English. There is not even a shred of commitment to the deep immersion ethos, with Coláiste Lú pupils being split from their peers and put into classrooms with other pupils. There has been no communication from the Principal or LMETB official or otherwise on this.
“We now have the situation where students who have studied subjects up to now in Irish and due to take Junior and Leaving certificate exams are forced to study in English with terminology that they do not understand. In a number of instances this difficulty is compounded by the fact English is not spoken at home.”

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