8.3.3 Intercultural education
Ireland has long had experience of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity but the 2000s saw a dramatic escalation in immigration with notable challenges in the educational and cultural domains. Bilingualism has been a feature of Irish education since the foundation of the state as has the presence of the Traveller community and minority religious groups. The Department of Education has issued guidelines on Traveller education in second-level schools in Ireland, underpinned by the intention to foster conditions conducive to pluralism in society and to raise cultural awareness. The full text is available for download: http://www.education.ie/servlet/blobservlet/insp_survey_traveller_education_provision.pdf.
The responsibility for intercultural education lies with the educational policy-makers at the national level. One of the specific aims of senior-cycle education is "to educate for participative citizenship at local, national, European and global levels".
The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment published Intercultural Guidelines for Primary Schools in 2005 (http://www.ncca.ie/uploadedfiles/Publications/Intercultural.pdf) and for the post-primary sector in 2006: (http://www.ncca.ie/uploadedfiles/publications/InterGlines_Eng.pdf).
The Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO) has also published Intercultural Guidelines for Schools. The full text is available for download: http://www.into.ie/ROI/Downloads/Publications/Other/filedownload,963,en.pdf.
See also chapter 4.2.5.