Castleisland Community College has been awarded a Diplomatic Passport in recognition of its work in the area of Development Education. Irish Aid, a branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, honoured the school with this award in Thomond Park, Limerick recently. The college ranks among the top 30 in the country and the only Kerry school to merit this achievement.
Levels of Inequality Increasing
“The world we live in is becoming increasingly globalised and interdependent while levels of inequality are increasing rather than decreasing. Development Education is an exciting and effective way to equip students with skills to tackle and understand these problems,” said teacher Doreen Killington.
“Development Education in areas such as critical thinking and values along with empathy and solidarity will not only help them with exams but more broadly equip them to contribute effectively to this fast changing world. It will help them to combat the root causes of poverty, inequality and injustice.
“The school was assessed under seven different categories: curricular; extra curricular; teacher capacity and engagement; student capacity and engagement; school leadership/management; school ethos/policy and respectful relationships within and beyond the school.
“Castleisland Community College has been actively involved in Development Education in all of these areas. The themes that the school has been engaged with include: climate change; fair trade and inequality.
“The impact of climate change is part of the school curriculum and is addressed in almost all subject areas. The school has extended on this knowledge by being involved in extra curricular programmes that highlight the problem at both local and international level.
“Transition year students have been engaged with the One Good Idea project.
“Their project Planet Savers investigates deforestation and the role that every person can play by purchasing FSC – Forest Stewardship Council – paper and wood.
“The Green School Committee is actively involved with the third green flag based on the theme of water. Students have studied the recent flooding in Ireland over the winter months and the opposite effect of climate change in third world countries when the rainy season is delayed and crops fail.
“The annual Christmas shoe box appeal and the Kenyan Education Project educate students on the inequalities that exist between children of the western world and the children of the developing world. Finally Castleisland Community College is a fairtrade school and only purchases fair trade tea and coffee,” Ms Killington concluded.
Well done to all members of the school community on its continuing work in this area and on its most recent award.