Our Catholic Schools to Welcome Syrian Refugees

Daily Mail (London), September 23, 2015 | Go to article overview

Our Catholic Schools to Welcome Syrian Refugees


Byline: Sean Dunne

IRISH Catholic schools are to welcome refugees from other religions into the education system.

The Catholic Primary Schools Management Association said yesterday that their schools would be delighted to welcome refugees from Syria and other wartorn countries.

CPSMA General Secretary Fr Tom Deenihan said: 'Catholic parish schools have been to the fore in helping to integrate migrants into our local communities. Children of various creeds and nationality comprise the multinational enrolment profile of Catholic schools throughout the country. All our pupils receive a quality education.' Fr Deenihan added: 'The recent call by Pope Francis for parishes to offer a welcome to people who have suffered was a call to Catholic parish schools to offer support.' The announcement was warmly welcomed by the Irish National Teachers Organisation yesterday. An INTO spokesman said: 'Catholic schools all over the country have been welcoming of children from other countries for years. In some places this will mean pressure on schools and extra demand on additional classroom accommodation. It will of course pose a challenge to the Department of Education to provide that accommodation.' He added: 'In the past we have managed to accommodate Vietnamese children and children from Kosovo. Irish schools have a good record in this regard.' In 1999, the Government welcomed the first Kosovar refugees to Ireland and had faced similar challenges housing the migrants.' The INTO said it was very supportive of the announcement by the Catholic Schools. 'It's not just Catholic schools, it's all schools, and the main challenge will be for the State to provide the classrooms where they are needed and to provide the teachers,' it said. …

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