The Gaoth Dobhair campus of Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge is to benefit from a €3m grant over the next three years.
The Department of the Gaeltacht has approved the fund for the Higher Education Authority to be allocated to the college to enable them to continue to provide a range of courses through the medium of Irish in their three Gaeltacht centres.
The other two centres are in Carna and An Cheathrú Rua, County Galway.
This allocation is €1m per academic year for the period 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2023/24 – an addition of €300,000 to the previous three year funding programme.
As part of the work programme agreed with the Acadamh, it is proposed to employ a person with a PhD in Early Education or a related field to:
- hold workshops in the Gaeltacht Centres;
- develop modules for the BA in Early Education for the area of early education which will aim to support the provision of appropriate training through Irish for early education practitioners working in naíonraí in the Gaeltacht and beyond.
Under the approach agreed with the Acadamh, short courses in language acquisition and enrichment, as it relates to the field of early education, will be provided in their three Gaeltacht centres.
The announcement was made this morning by Catherine Martin, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Jack Chambers, Government Chief Whip and Minister for the Gaeltacht and Sport.
Minister Martin said: “I am encouraged by the number of students from the Gaeltacht who go on to university and are able to do so in their native language in centres located in the Gaeltacht. Given that over two thousand students benefit annually from the range of courses run by the Acadamh in the three Gaeltacht centres of the National University of Ireland, Galway – which provide employment for over 60 people under the auspices of the Acadamh – it is clear that the Department’s investment, which is in the interests of the Irish language and the Gaeltacht, is being utilised. The additional funding announced today will help in a practical way to further strengthen the Irish language infrastructure in the Gaeltacht for the benefit of the implementation of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language and the 2018-2022 Action Plan for the Irish Language which supports it.”
In 2004 the National University of Ireland, Galway established Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge to fulfil the University’s obligation to develop third-level education through the medium of Irish.
Professor Breandán Mac Suibhne, the Acadamh’s Director of Studies, said: “Early education is particularly important in language planning. With this additional funding, NUI Galway will be able to better support those already working in playschools. And it will be able to provide a training system to help those entering the early education sector to identify and overcome linguistic challenges. We are very grateful to the Minister and to the Minister of State and to all the staff of the Department for allowing us to play a central role in the development of this important sector.”
Up to 2,000 students attend Acadamh courses each year. There is a strong emphasis on practice-based expertise as well as a good theoretical foundation in the courses they run in the various centres, including:
- Postgraduate Courses
- Degree Courses
- Diploma Courses
- Teacher Training Courses
- Intensive courses
- Other Courses.