On 21 March, the Minister of Education of the Northern Ireland Executive addressed the 23rd EUROCLIO Annual Conference “Reimagining Remembrance”. The Minister welcomed local and international delegates of the conference on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive:
I am delighted that EUROCLIO chose Belfast as the venue for this year’s conference. The theme is particularly relevant for schools in the North this year, given that the spring and summer of 2016 will see two important events being commemorated locally, the Easter Rising and the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Both events have shaped cultural and political attitudes here and I am sure delegates will have much to share on how we encourage all our young people to appreciate the historical and contemporary significance of the events that took place one hundred years ago.
During his speech Minister O’Dowd also mentioned efforts of his department to reform curricula and provide new educational resources in Northern Ireland: “I commissioned the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment to prepare a ‘1916 Mutual Understanding’ programme for schools. This is now available and will provide teachers with curricular support and materials to enable them to explore the history and legacy of the events we are marking this year.” O’Dowd stressed that in order to implement the curricula, “we have to rely on the professionalism of our teachers.”
The Ministry of Education has launched a campaign titled “Education Works” to help parents get involved in their children’s education.
Watch the speech below: