Education Minister, John O’Dowd, joined Ceara Special School in Lurgan today as it welcomed visitors from schools across Europe.
The teachers were visiting Ceara as part of the Comenius Project which is run by the European Commission’s Education Programme. The objectives of the programme are to develop knowledge and understanding among young people and education staff of the diversity of European cultures and languages.
Ceara is in a Comenius Project with special schools from Germany, Austria, Turkey, Wales, Lithuania and Sweden.
The Minister said: “I would like to thank the Principal, Peter Cunningham, for his kind invitation to visit Ceara Special School today to help pupils and staff celebrate this special event. Programmes such as Comenius are invaluable in helping to promote co-operation between schools here and in other parts of Europe. Staff and students are able to work together to build a better understanding of other cultures and teaching practices. This provides an excellent opportunity to see at first-hand the differing educational techniques and exchange ideas.”
The Ceara Special School Comenius project is “Knowing Me, Knowing You”. The project is based on pupils’ learning about their own national celebrations, artists and musicians, and by developing a knowledge of their own rich cultural heritage, they will be able to share the outcomes with their European partners.
The Minister said: “I had the opportunity to meet many of the pupils today and hear about the work they have been doing on their ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ project. It was obvious that not only have they learnt a lot, they have also had an enormous amount of fun so it has clearly been a very worthwhile and beneficial project to be involved in.”
“I hope that the visiting teachers and other staff enjoy their stay here. I am aware that representatives from Ceara have already visited some of the other countries involved in this project and will making further visits in due course. I look forward to hearing more about those experiences in the future.”