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16 Gaeltacht primary schools will undertake a special education programme in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as a result of the new ‘An Chruinne’ programme devised by JAI and Údarás na Gaeltachta.
During the 2017/2018 academic year, JAI will work with Údarás na Gaeltachta to roll out ‘An Chruinne’, a STEM pilot programme, in 16 national schools in the Kerry, Cork, Galway, Mayo and Donegal Gaeltacht areas.
The programme introduces science through practical and engaging classroom-based lessons and is designed to encourage 6th class primary school students to continue with science as they transition to second level. Labour market data show that Ireland continues to experience a skills shortage in the STEM sector despite major growth and employment opportunities. Volunteers from organisations around the country will be recruited, trained and supported by JAI to facilitate the in-classroom programme fostering students’ interest in STEM subjects.
The programme consists of five modules and, importantly, will de delivered through the medium of Irish in primary schools in the Gaeltacht.
The Government Chief Whip and the Minister of State with responsibility for Gaeilge, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Joe McHugh, TD, said “I commend Údarás na Gaeltachta and Junior Achievement Ireland for establishing this innovative project. It is important that we encourage and provide the Gaeltacht’s younger generation with the skills to enable them to realise their vision for the Gaeltacht”.
Údarás na Gaeltachta Chief Executive, Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh also said “It is important for Údarás na Gaeltachta to encourage the Gaeltacht’s younger generation to move towards innovation and spark an interest in these sectors through their native language. They are our future entrepreneurs and scientists and they will create and develop the Gaeltacht of the future. Údarás na Gaeltachta intends to build on this project and extend it, if possible, in the future”.
Helen Raftery, CEO of JAI added: “We are delighted to have the support of the Minister of State with responsibility for Gaeilge and Gaeltacht as well as Údarás na Gaeltachta. It is critical that industry and education come together to excite young people about studying science and the skills required for success. It is through the support of partners like Údarás na Gaeltachta that we are able to connect our students with business volunteers who in turn share their insights and expertise, linking the classroom and the ‘real-world’ to enhance their learning experience."
OVER 2,000 STUDENTS TO TAKE PART IN JA MORE THAN MONEY PROGRAMME
JAI in partnership with HSBC Holdings plc has relaunched its More than Money programme to increase levels of financial capability – starting at an early age. The primary school initiative will be rolled out by 60 business volunteers to over 2,000 students across Ireland and introduces young children to financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills. To launch the financial programme, over 20 local primary school students were invited to HSBC in Grand Canal Dock, Dublin, to see how a real business works.
The JA More than Money programme teaches students the key differences among earning, saving, and spending; strengthens their money-management skills; and helps them to better understand the role and importance of money in their lives. HSBC’s support of the programme is part of the bank’s global focus on developing Future Skills. This includes increasing levels of financial capability and supporting initiatives that give people the skills, attitudes and tools needed to manage their finances and make the most of their money.
Alan Duffy, Chief Executive Officer and Head of Banking at HSBC, underlined HSBC’s focus and commitment to the programme by commenting: “We’re always delighted at HSBC to be able to play a significant part in shaping future business leaders and helping students explore and enhance their career aspirations. A positive attitude towards finance and a greater understanding of money management can offer huge opportunities to the children taking part in this programme. The More than Money programme is a great initiative that shows the benefit of early engagement through hands on activities and we’re very happy to support it any way we can.”
“Finance today is more complicated than it has ever been. Knowledge about saving accounts is only a small part of what it means to be financially literate, and the options for saving, investing, and borrowing can be overwhelming,” said Helen Raftery, CEO, Junior Achievement Ireland. “This is why programmes like Junior Achievement’s More than Money initiative can have such a profound impact by not only equipping students with basic financially literacy and money-management skills, but also empowering them to succeed in today’s evolving, global economy.”
Students from three Dublin schools have graduated from the Junior Achievement Ireland Career Ready programme, kindly hosted by Citi, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1. To mark the completion of their two year programme the students were joined by the business volunteers who had worked as their mentors, representatives of supporting organisations and special guests former Dublin GAA star and life coach Jason Sherlock and JAI Patron Leslie Buckley.
Career Ready develops students’ potential by enabling their involvement in a range of activities including being paired with a business mentor for 18 months, visiting workplaces, attending masterclasses and completing work placements. The overall aims of the JAI Career Ready initiative are to help students to recognise their potential, to develop and increase their employability skills, support their academic work and introduce them to the world of work. The 2015-2017 cohort comprises twenty nine students from St. Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick St; Loreto College, Crumlin and Our Lady of Mercy, Beaumont.
Special guest Jason Sherlock congratulated the students on taking their first steps in the world of work and reinforced the importance of role models and pushing oneself to achieve your goals: “The guidance and encouragement of mentors and role models really can make a profound difference in a young person’s life; I know this from my own personal experience. To the participating students I say take the skills and confidence you have gained from Career Ready and build on them, allow the programme to be the catalyst for you to fulfil your potential. With the right attitude you can do anything you set your mind to.”
The importance of role models in helping us learn and develop is fundamental. When caring adults are involved in education, students do better in school and life, adults become empowered, and schools and communities grow stronger.
The Career Ready 2015-17 mentors, as well as masterclasses and school to work visits, were provided by A & L Goodbody, Accenture, Amundi, BNY Mellon, Citi, Core Media, Dell, Deloitte, Diageo, EisnerAmper Ireland, Gaiety School of Acting, LinkedIn, JLL, Lloyds Bank, Manpower, Pfizer, SQS, Standard Life, and TV3.
Mary Kelleher, Transition Year Coordinator in Loreto College Crumlin, said that: “Volunteer mentors from ‘the real world’ really do have a significant impact in helping students see the relevance of their studies and their post-school choices. Volunteers share their career journey and give students an insight into their working life which is vital not only in opening the students’ eyes to the possibilities that are out there but also underlines the need to be driven and focused.”
On behalf of Junior Achievement Ireland, CEO Helen Raftery said: “Research shows us that working with ‘real-world’ volunteers helps young people to see the relevance of their academic studies to their everyday lives, which is a vital factor in persuading them to stay in school and take full advantage of the opportunity that education offers. Thank you to Citi for hosting this celebration and to all our corporate partners for their support of the Career Ready initiative.”
Junior Achievement Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta to run a nationwide enterprise programme as Gaeilge
More than 750 Transition Year students from Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Meath & Waterford will participate in the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Clár na gComhlachtaí this year.
Joe McHugh TD, Minister of State at the Department of Culture with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands, launched the 2017/18 programme in Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair this week and students from the school were on hand to showcase some of the innovative ideas that they have for their fledgling businesses!
Clár na gComhlachtaí is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) and is taught through the Irish language to students attending schools in Gaeltacht regions. Based on the well-established JA Company Programme and Company of the Year Competition, students create, operate and manage their own business. The programme provides numerous opportunities for the development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills.
Minister McHugh commented, “I would like to congratulate Údarás na Gaeltachta and Junior Achievement Ireland for promoting a culture of entrepreneurship among young people in the Gaeltacht areas. The entrepreneurial skills and practical business experience developed through Clár na gComhlachtaí will stand these young people in good stead and ultimately benefit the economy of the Gaeltacht.”
Local business volunteers, each of whom is recruited, trained and supported by JAI, mentor the students alongside their teachers as they move from the idea generation stage, to production, marketing, sales, finance right through to going to market.
In February 2018, students will be challenged to report on the progress they have made at Regional Finals. These events in each region will allow the emerging entrepreneurs to display their finished products at trade stands, and be interviewed by a judging panel before pitching their business ideas on stage to a public audience. The regional finals are an ideal opportunity for the students to showcase the knowledge gained and the skills acquired in the course of the programme.
Last year’s winners were Cothú Cinnte, a company from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal, Co. Galway. Cothú Cinnte produced hand-painted, glazed dinner plates, that were labelled “as Gaeilge” to encourage young people to include more vegetables in their diet and to promote healthy eating.
Based on research on entrepreneurship education, students participating in Údarás Clár na gComhlachtaí are more likely to start their own business, are at lower risk of being unemployed, and are more often in steady employment into adulthood. These projected outcomes are based on the success schemes around Europe, which incorporate the JA Company Programme, on which the design of Clár na gComhlachtaí is based.
Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta, commented that “Údarás na Gaeltachta is dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship in Gaeltacht areas and we would like to thank Junior Achievement Ireland for their commitment to this programme. We are confident that the skills and practical business experience Gaeltacht students will gain through their participation in Clár na gComhlachtaí is a significant building block which will lead to future Gaeltacht enterprises.”
On behalf of JAI, Chief Executive Helen Raftery said: “The support from Údarás na Gaeltachta to run Clár na gComhlachtaí in schools across the Gaeltacht allows students to enjoy real-to-life learning opportunities they might not otherwise have benefited from. With the encouragement of their teachers and their business mentors, the students will gain confidence in many transversal skills such as team-working, negotiation and public speaking – skills which will be invaluable as they progress into the world of work.”
I mbliana glacfaidh os cionn 750 dalta idirbhliana ó Ghaeltachtaí Chorcaí, na Gaillimhe, Dhún na nGall, Chiarraí, Mhaigh Eo, na Mí agus Phort Láirge páirt i gClár na gComhlachtaí - Údarás na Gaeltachta.
Ba é an tAire Stáit don Ghaeilge, don Ghaeltacht agus do na hOileáin sa Roinn Cultúir Joe McHugh TD a sheol clár 2017/2018 i bPobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair an tseachtain seo agus bhí daltaí ón scoil i láthair chun cuid de na smaointe nuálacha atá acu dá bhfiontair nuabhunaithe a chur ar taispeáint.
Is taithí phraiticiúil ghnó atá i gClár na gComhlachtaí atá á fhorbairt agus á sheachadadh i gcomhar le Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) agus atá á mhúineadh trí mheán na Gaeilge do dhaltaí i gceantair Ghaeltachta. Bunaithe ar na comórtais sheanbhunaithe JA Company Programme agus Comhlacht na Bliana, cruthaíonn, ritheann agus bainistíonn daltaí a ngnó féin. Cuireann an clár neart deiseanna ar fáil maidir le forbairt agus neartaíonn sé an tábhacht a bhaineann le scileanna acadúla agus ceannaireachta.
Dúirt an tAire McHugh, “Ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh le hÚdarás na Gaeltachta agus Junior Achievement Ireland as cultúr na fiontraíochta i measc óige na Gaeltachta a chur chun cinn. Seasfaidh na scileanna fiontraíochta agus an taithí phraiticiúil gnó a fhorbraítear trí Chlár na gComhlachtaí leis na daoine óga seo agus rachaidh sé chun leasa gheilleagar na Gaeltachta ar deireadh.”
Cuireann lucht gnó áitiúil, atá earcaithe agus traenáilte ag an JAI agus a fhaigheann tacaíocht uathu, meantóireacht dheonach ar fáil do na daltaí chomh maith leis na múinteoirí agus tugtar treoir do na daltaí ón mbunsmaoineamh go dtí an táirgeadh, an mhargaíocht, an díolachán agus cúrsaí airgeadais, chomh fada le dul chun margaidh.
Ag na Comórtais Réigiúnacha i mí Feabhra 2018, tabharfar dúshlán do na daltaí tuairisciú a dhéanamh ar an dul chun cinn atá déanta acu. Tugann na hócáidí réigiúnacha seo deis do na fiontraithe óga seo a dtáirgí críochnaithe a chur i láthair ag seastáin ghnó, dul faoi agallamh le painéal moltóirí agus a smaoineamh gnó a dhíol os comhair lucht féachana. Is deis iontach é seo do na daltaí an t-eolas agus na scileanna atá foghlamtha acu a thaispeáint.
Ba iad Cothú Cinnte, comhlacht as Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal, Co. na Gaillimhe buaiteoirí na bliana seo caite. Cruthaigh Cothú Cinnte plátaí dinnéir péinteáilte de láimh le lipéid Ghaeilge chun bia sláintiúil a chur chun cinn agus daoine óga a mhealladh chun tuilleadh glasraí a ithe.
Bunaithe ar thaighde ar oideachas fiontraíochta, is mó seans atá daltaí a ghlacann páirt i gClár na gComhlachtaí – Údarás na Gaeltachta a ngnó féin a bhunú, bíonn riosca níos ísle go mbeidh siad dífhostaithe, agus níos minice bíonn fostaíocht seasta acu agus iad ag dul in aois. Tá na torthaí réamh-mheasta seo bunaithe ar rath na scéimeanna ar fud na hEorpa, a bhfuil JA Company Programme mar chuid de, agus ar a bhfuil Clár na gComhlachtaí bunaithe.
Dúirt Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, Príomhfheidhmeannach Údarás na Gaeltachta “Tá Údarás na Gaeltachta tiomanta an fhiontraíocht a chur chun cinn i gceantair Ghaeltachta agus ba mhaith linn buíochas a ghlacadh le Junior Achievement Ireland as a ndúthracht don chlár. Tá muid dóchasach go mbeidh na scileanna agus taithí phraiticiúil gnó a bhainfidh na daltaí Gaeltachta amach i rannpháirtíocht Chlár na gComhlachtaí ina gcrann taca maidir le fiontair Ghaeltachta amach anseo.”
Thar ceann an JAI dúirt an Príomhfheidhmeannach Helen Raftery, “Cuireann an tacaíocht a fhaighimid ó Údarás na Gaeltachta chun Clár na gComhlachtaí a reáchtáil i scoileanna ar fud na Gaeltachta deis iontach ar fáil do dhaltaí maidir le cúrsaí foghlama saoil rud nach mbeadh siad in ann leas a bhaint as de ghnáth. Le spreagadh ó na múinteoirí agus a meantóirí gnó, spreagfar muinín sna daltaí i mórán scileanna inaistrithe, idir obair foirne, scileanna idirbheartaíochta agus óráidíocht phoiblí – scileanna a bheidh an-tairbheach agus iad ag dul chun cinn i saol na hoibre.”
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