'Schooling in a Changing Ireland' Seminar at NUI Galway
Monday, 19 November 2007
A seminar on 'Schooling in a Changing Ireland' will be given from 1-2pm on Tuesday, 20 November at NUI Galway by Fr. Harry Bohan, founder of The Céifin Centre for Values-led Change. The free public event is part of the University's Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) Keynote Seminar Series which seeks to address pertinent issues facing the wider national and international community. Founded by Fr. Harry Bohan in 1998, the Céifin Centre is based in Shannon, Co. Clare. The Centre focuses on a search for values in modern day Ireland. Céifin's main aim is to generate the capacity for debate on social change issues by facilitating a number of activities and programmes including conferences, lectures, workshops and research projects. The seminar will address some of the challenges facing schools in Ireland today, at primary and secondary level. According to Fr. Harry, "In our time, the greatest revolution taking place in Ireland is not with state or church but with family life. We have moved in a short period of time from the extended family to the nuclear family, to various definitions of family life. According to CSO figures 20% of families in the Dublin area could now be regarded as traditional families. Adolescents now spend less that 5% of their time with parents and less than 2% with other adults. This means a generation of young Irish people are growing up alone". He continued: "Traditionally, values were taught by parents at home and by teachers in the classroom. Now we have a society where parents often cannot afford to be at home, where the dynamic of home life revolves around TV and video games. The implications for schools and schooling are enormous. The question must now be asked: who is rearing the next generations? Finding answers to this question could be one of the great challenges facing our society". Previous speakers in CKI's seminar series have included former Taoiseach Dr. Garret FitzGerald, Michael D. Higgins, T.D., Mary Davis, Chair of the Taskforce on Active Citizenship, and Alan Kerins of the Alan Kerins African Projects. The seminar will be held in the Siobhán McKenna Theatre in the Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway. For further information, telephone the CKI office on 091 493823.