I have in the past referred to sending my sons into different forms of Education.
Son #1 …..Gaelic speaking Nursery, Catholic Primary School, State Primary School (reasons of temporary location), “Integrated” Secondary School (his choice) and Catholic Secondary School (his choice).
Son #2…..Catholic Primary School, State Primary School (reasons of temporary location), Catholic Grammar School (his choice), Catholic Secondary School (his choice).
I think Mrs FJH and I are glad that we have no more choices to make. There is a lot of choice and/or confusion out there. Our experience is …make the right choices without experimenting.
So visiting my grandsons the other day……….and grandson #2 has now gone into Primary One. Catholic School. He is a …….big boy now and anxious to show me what he made at school in his first week.
Gladdening my Republican and Nationalist heart…….they spent their first week learning about Ireland “cos granda thats our country”. See the cool flag my grandson made.
It will probably give “letsgetalongerists” the vapours and God knows what serial flag watcher Willie Fraser will make of it……I suppose I could try and assure him that it is Italian.
There is to paraphrase Rev Norman Hamilton (then Presbyterian Moderator at SDLP Conference 2010) no such thing as value-free education. Whatever system ……even the one the “letsgetalongerists” would have us sign up to………..will have some values of its own.
I should of course point out that my grandsons go to a Catholic school. But at the time of the recent Mrs Windsor Jubilee, the local “State” Primary School was be-decked in British flags.
What would an “integrated” school do. Its not really about religion….Catholic schools are instrumental in teaching children a sense of Irishness.
Long may they remain to so do.