Education Minister John O’Dowd officially opened Naiscoil Ghleann an Iolair, Glenullin, on Thursday.
Minister O’Dowd praised everyone involved in the , the only Irish language nursery school in the Coleraine Borough from its inception, and stressed the importance and benefits of not only Irish medium education, but bilingualism in general for the development of children.
Speaking at the opening, the Minister said: “As Minister for Education, I recognise only too well the impact that the early years can have on a child’s educational outcomes in later life.
“The first years of a child’s life are a time of significant growth and development and during this time children benefit hugely from a pre-school environment.
“These early years lay the foundations for future success and I want to ensure, as far as possible, that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Now in its second yeard, Naíscoil Ghleann an Iolair provides Irish medium nursery education in the Glenullin area, and has 15 children attending, employing two full-time members of staff, and another two part-time.
The Naíscoil has been a huge success, and is looking towards expansion in the near future.
Mr O’Dowd added: “I particularly welcome the choice of settings available to parents.
“The Irish-medium sector in the north is thriving with almost 900 pre-school children now being educated across 43 Irish-medium settings. This is a wonderful achievement and I am confident that the sector will continue to flourish in the future.”
The Minister congratulated everyone involved in establishing the Naiscoil: “I commend the hard work and determination of everyone involved in bringing the Naiscoil to fruition. Your commitment has ensured that your dream of delivering Irish language pre-school education to your children has become a reality.”