Presentation Secondary School Ballingarry’s Margaret Murphy (teacher) and James O'Meara with Valerie Lewis (Irish Aid) at Croke Park.
Presentation’s James O'Meara and Margaret Murphy were amongst 320 people from 60 secondary schools who were praised at the fourth annual Irish Aid WorldWise Global Schools (WWGS) conference in Croke Park recently.
42 of the schools were awarded Global Passports for their extra-curricular work in development education by WWGS, the organisation that is charged with delivering Irish Aid’s schools Development Education programme.
“There has been some innovative Development Education work taking place in Presentation Ballingarry this year,” WorldWise Global Schools director Mary McCarthy said.
“Transition Years studied 'Lipstick' by Rosita Boland in their English class. This looked at women and inequality in the world, touching on issues including violence, pay and conditions, underage marriage and percentages of women in the workforce compared to men.
“They also engaged in a Development Education writing workshop, exploring the world of democracy and the threat posed by the election of Donald Trump.
“Students had to write from the perspective of refugees, women and migrant workers.
“Additionally Junior Cert students have undertaken a module on world debt and how this affects people living in different parts of the global South. They explored how countries in the Global North are actually hampering the trade and development of countries in the Global South as a result of restrictive and unjust trade rules,” she continued.
The conference - led by TV presenter Michael Carey - consisted of school exhibits, interactive workshops, plenary discussions and debates.
The event provided a platform for Irish secondary school students to speak out and take action on critical global issues, as they call for the Irish Government to take the issue of sustainability seriously.
The day focused on three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which provide the framework for reducing poverty and inequality globally by 2030.
The Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Joe McHugh TD, opened the proceedings. “Development Education provides schools with the opportunity to really explore global issues and to identify appropriate action they can take in response to inequality and injustice. All of the students and teachers who are at the conference today have demonstrated their commitment to making the world more just and sustainable – which is inspiring for us all,” he added.