Green Schools Programme

Education – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 11th March 2002.

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Photo of Mr Mick Murphy Mr Mick Murphy Sinn Féin 2:30 pm, 11th March 2002

6. asked the Minister of Education if he intends to initiate a programme similar to the green schools programme operated by the Dublin Government.

(AQO 969/01)

Photo of Martin McGuinness Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin

The green schools programme is one element of the European-wide eco-schools programme. I am pleased to say that over 120 schools here have already registered in the eco-schools programme since its inception.

Photo of Mr Mick Murphy Mr Mick Murphy Sinn Féin

Does the Minister agree that the schools programme in the Southern part of this island is a superb example of improving environmental awareness at an early age? No doubt the Minister can see, as I do, increased opportunities for significant North/South links, and, perhaps, the potential for an Irish language edition of the eco-schools programme.

Photo of Martin McGuinness Martin McGuinness Sinn Féin

Absolutely. There is no doubt that over 750 schools, both primary and secondary, are registered with the programme operated in the South by An Taisce — the National Trust for Ireland. There is significant interest in environmental issues here also, as can be seen from the number of schools that have registered with the eco-schools programme.

The current review of the curriculum also provides an important opportunity to define how all subjects, particularly geography and science, can provide scope and opportunities for young people to become responsible custodians of their environment.