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Flurry of enrolments saves Derg Naíscoil

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Maolíosa McHugh pictured at the Naíscoil Na Deirge.

CASTLEDERG’S Irish language school looks set to be saved following a flurry of enrolments.

The Strabane Chronicle revealed last month how the future of Naíscoil Na Deirge was in the balance because of a lack of uptake by parents.

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Naíscoil Na Deirge currently provides early years education to 11 pupils, eight of whom are funded under the government’s PEGS Programme.

As of February though only three children had been signed up for next year and as a result, the school would not be entitled to the funding it requires to keep going.

Since the lack of enrolments was highlighted though, several parents have come forward to say they intend to send their children to Naíscoil Na Deirge this September.

While the North’s Education Authority has yet to decide on funding for the school, Maolíosa McHugh, who is chair of the Naíscoil Na Deirge Committee, said teachers were now planning for the future.

“We are planning for provision in the year ahead as other parents have now opted to send their children to  the school,” the Sinn Féin councillor said. “Unfortunately people erroneously believed that by attending other pre-school provision, it would limit their options in the future. That is the not the case and in fact quite the opposite is true.

“But the publicity given to this issue by the Strabane Chronicle does appear to have focussed minds and the amount of good will out there is fairly obvious.

“At a time when people are so aware of the importance of the Irish language, I feel there are many reasons to give support to it in the Derg Valley.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 15 Main Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AS