Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 28/04/2016. Tags: Teachers Parenting
Bressie and the Ombudsman for Children Niall Muldoon today(26th April 2016) honoured 13 primary and secondary schools for tackling racism and achieving diversity standards resulting in them receiving Yellow Flag status at a multicultural ceremony of pupils representing 83 nationalities and cultures.
Embarking on the 8 step Yellow Flag programme each school must meet specific targets to create an environment where identity and racism bullying is challenged and diversity and equality are embedded within whole school practice. Of the 2016 flag recipient schools 3 out of 10 pupils surveyed reported to have experienced racism last year and 85% said they would “like their school to provide time to celebrate different cultures, languages, religions and identities.
Pioneered and coordinated by the Irish Traveller Movement the multi-level programme for pupils, teachers, parents and the wider community was established seven years ago to help support schools create cross-cultural understanding, racial harmony and equal recognition of religious and ethnic traditions which would reflect Ireland’s diversity with school populations comprising over 200 different cultures.
Speaking at the awards, Ombudsman for Children Niall Muldoon said “I am delighted to support this hugely important initiative whereby schools, young people and whole communities are encouraged to understand and fight discrimination. The Yellow Flag programme, which promotes integration and diversity, goes a long way to helping all children and young people to realise their human rights.
It is crucial to engage these children and young people at the earliest possible opportunity so that they learn the value and benefits of diversity and tolerance in society."
According to Paula Madden Yellow Flag Coordinator “In the context of global events including the refugee crisis, it’s more important than ever for children to see diversity normalised and that young people learn to relate to each other across cultural, religious and ethnic identities. We are delighted to have been involved in leading a programme that to date, has supported over 21,350 young people in 60 schools with students from over 83 different nationalities and cultures.”
Elizabeth Daniel a pupil of St. John’s National School, Drogheda and resident of Mosney direct provision centre said “We organised the trip to Mosney because lots of children in our school live there and we thought it would be fun to invite our friends to our home. It was so exciting for me to have my friends come to visit for the first time. When the buses arrived I just ran over and hugged them! We did lots of fun things that day. We drew pictures. We played with the parachute, we played basketball, football and we even had a disco! We had lovely food too. My Mom helped to bake lots of nice things for our visitors to eat. I didn’t want the day to end because it was one of my favourite days ever!”
The locations of recipient schools included: Louth, Cork, Dublin, Meath, Kerry, Wicklow and Kildare.Primary Schools St Johns JNS, Rathmullen, Drogheda, Co Louth
St Pauls SNS, Rathmullen, Drogheda, Co Louth
Adamstown Castle ETNS, Adamstown, Co Dublin, SDCC
Sacred Heart NS, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15
Central Model Senior NS, Marlborough St, Dublin 1
Muire na Mainistreach, Killarney, Co Kerry
St Oliver’s NS, Killarney, Co Kerry
St Fiach’s NS, Ballinacree, Co Meath
Glasheen BNS, Cork City
St Philomena’s, Bray Co Wicklow
St Ronan’s NS, Clondalkin
Kildare Youth Training and Development Centre, Newbridge, Co Kildare
Mercy College, Coolock, Dublin
Attending the event Principal D’arcy of St Oliver’s National School, Killarney, Co Kerry said: “I have been teaching for nearly thirty years and the Yellow Flag Programme is one of the most enjoyable and change making initiatives I have come across. Our school celebrates diversity, inclusion and difference. The need for understanding and empathy in our world has never been greater. The YF programme encourages us all to be proud of where we come from and celebrate our unity in cherishing each other. A powerful message from our school, town, county and country.”
The programme also addresses identity based bullying by creating a framework for schools to challenge prejudices within the school environment and helps foster pride in identity for children from different national and ethnic backgrounds focusing on practical intercultural achievements. The 8 steps to accreditation include:
1. Intercultural and Anti-Racism Training for Staff and Management
2. Going beyond the School’s Walls: Engaging with the Community
3. Establishing a Diversity Committee
4. Conducting an Intercultural Review
5. Formulating an Action Plan for a Diverse School
6. Monitoring and Evaluation and Information Dissemination
7. Curriculum work
8. Production of a diversity code and anti racist policy for the school
The Irish Traveller Movement believe there is considerable scope for developing the Yellow Flag programme into a mainstream national programme, which would have a long-standing legacy, promoting equality and diversity, but requires political commitment.
What is the Yellow Flag Programme?
The Yellow Flag Programme is a progressive equality and diversity practical initiative and accredited award scheme for primary and secondary schools who promote and support Interculturalism, inclusion and anti-bullying racism through an externally assessed and accredited 8 step model which is coordinated by the Irish Traveller Movement. Linked here www.yellowflag.ie