Ulster Unionist Education spokesperson, Danny Kinahan MLA has called on the Education Minister, John O’Dowd to get behind the Prime Minister’s plans for education during the centenary years of the First World War.
Danny, who is also Vice-Chair of the Education Committee, said:
“The Prime Minister unveiled major plans last year on how the centenary years of the First World War will be used to educate the nation, including two “student ambassadors” and a teacher from every state school being given the opportunity to travel to the Somme Battlefields.’
“I recently wrote to the Education Minister asking him what support and encouragement his Department is offering schools for such visits to the Somme Battlefields. The response was very bland and informed me that the Department delegates such decision-making to schools.’
“Given that the Great War is an important piece of our shared history, I am concerned that the Education Minister is not showing the same level of enthusiasm for this project as his counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales.’
“These centenary plans provide a golden opportunity to educate the population on the massive effect of the Great War locally, both socially and economically, and how it shaped the political landscape for future generations. We cannot afford to allow such an opportunity to slip from our grasp.’