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Thread: Black children left out of Irish schools

  1. #1
    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Black children left out of Irish schools

    Black children left out of Irish schools - Yahoo! News
    Almost all the children who could not find elementary school places in a Dublin suburb this year were black, the government said Monday, highlighting Ireland's problems integrating its increasingly diverse population.
    The children will attend a new, all-black school, a prospect that educators called disheartening.
    About 90 children could not find school places in the north Dublin suburb of Balbriggan , a town of more than 10,000 people with two elementary schools. Local educators called a meeting over the weekend for parents struggling to find places and said they were shocked to see only black children.
    "That overwhelmed me. I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I just find it extremely concerning," said Gerard Kelly, principal of a school with a mixture of black and white students in the nearby town of Swords.
    The parents at Saturday's meeting in a Balbriggan hotel said they had tried to get their children into local schools but were told that all places had to be reserved by February.
    Almost all of the children are Irish-born and thus Irish citizens, under a law that existed until 2004.
    Some parents questioned why white families who had moved this year into the town had managed to overcome the registration deadlines to get their children into schools.
    Some also complained that Ireland's school system was discriminating against them on the basis of religion. About 98 percent of schools are run by the Roman Catholic Church, and the law permits them to discriminate on the basis of whether a prospective student has a certificate confirming they were baptized into the faith. Some of the African applicants were Muslim, members of evangelical Protestant denominations or of no religious creed.
    Education Minister Mary Hanafin said the problems reflected bad planning amid rapid population growth, not racist attitudes at existing schools. She vowed to get the new school, which will take students aged 4-12, integrated with white students as soon as possible.
    "I would not like to see a situation developing where it is an all-black school, so it's something to keep an eye on for next year's enrollments," Hanafin said.
    Kelly said some parents, both locals and immigrants, "felt forced or coerced to have their child baptised to get a place in their local Catholic school."
    More than 25,000 Africans have settled in Ireland since the mid-1990s. Most arrived as asylum seekers, and many took advantage of Ireland's law — unique in Europe — of granting citizenship to parents of any Irish-born child. Voters toughened that law in a 2004 referendum.

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    Is there a lot of racism towards black folks in Ireland? This sounds so weird.

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    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
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    Shouldn't a church run school get to decide about the religion of the pupils? I don't think it's strictly a matter of race.

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    ^^Exactly. People have been pretending to be Catholic for years to get their kids into Catholic schools.

    Seriously, if I was bringing up my child to be a strict Catholic, I would have a real problem with non Catholics attending the school.

    If the parents are that keen to get their kids into the school, become a member of the congregation. Where I live the local Catholic school gives first priority to members of their congregation's kids, then members of the neighboring congregation's kids, followed by non practicing catholics living in the local area.

    The best chance of getting you kid into a religious school, is changing to that religion and donating generously to their various fund raisers.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Or do away with the stupidity of religion and shove them all into public schools.. they can go to church on their own time. Eesh.
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    Gold Member glamazon's Avatar
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    ^^ Grimm, that's not fair.

    In America, that's our way. Maybe in Ireland, since religion is very entrenched in their government affairs, you have to switch to the religion, whether or not you or I think it's silly, in order to get into schools, understand their laws...

    Religion is a hot button subject here!
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    No, it's very fair. It's probably the most fair solution. Keep religion in the fucking church, keep education accessible to everyone.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    ^ I agree.

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    I heard something recently that said Ireland is setting the example for immigration.

    As if they had it worked out, and other places should follow suit. I didn't hear the entire report.

    So, is this an immigraton issue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieElizabeth View Post
    I heard something recently that said Ireland is setting the example for immigration.

    As if they had it worked out, and other places should follow suit. I didn't hear the entire report.

    So, is this an immigraton issue?
    There is currently a lot of immigration in Ireland, which is bringing out the fact that Ireland is one of the most racist countries in the world.

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    ^Oh wow. It didn't came across as a negative report when i saw it on yahoo.

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    Elite Member JamieElizabeth's Avatar
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    Ireland steps up as immigration leader

    By Michael Seaver Wed Sep 5, 4:00 AM ET

    Dublin, Ireland - As Europe wrestles with its relatively new status as an immigrant continent, an unlikely leader is emerging:
    Historically known for its high emigration rates, the island nation has exploded with newcomers from 150 different countries in the past decade – and taken some innovative steps to help its new residents settle in.
    In the past ten years, Ireland has experienced a greater rise in the percentage of immigrants than Britain experienced over the past half century. In 1999, fewer than 6,000 work permits were granted to non-Irish migrant workers; last year, 48,000 were handed out. According to the 2006 census, which has been gradually released over the summer, 420,000 foreign nationals, or about 10 percent of the population, now live here.
    In some primary schools in Dublin, some 50 percent of the children are from nonnational backgrounds. In some districts, the number of immigrants has risen by 120 percent since 2002.
    A combination of low and highly skilled workers, the newcomers have fueled the Celtic Tiger economic boom – as well as social upheaval. But while Ireland has struggled with racism and other tensions, it's experienced nothing like the Paris riots of 2005 or the homegrown-terrorist attacks that rocked London in 2006 and Madrid in 2004. Some newcomers credit the proactive stance of the government, which has allowed noncitizens to participate in local politics and join the police force.
    "By allowing immigrants to participate in society, Ireland has accepted the first generation of immigrants," says Rotimi Adebari, a Nigerian who in June became Ireland's first immigrant mayor. "I think my election is a model that can be showcased throughout the world. What Ireland has done is very unique."
    Bryan Fanning, editor of Immigration and Social Change in the Republic of Ireland, also applauds the efforts of Ireland, which allows nonnationals to vote in local elections.
    "That is unusual and a very positive initiative," says Dr. Fanning. "It is unhealthy to have large proportion of your population outside citizenship. Two problems arise. First of all, they are not stakeholders in a positive way in society, and second, if they are voiceless, then they are powerless. It would be easy for pressures of marginalization to build up."
    Mr. Adebari, who sought asylum after fleeing Nigeria with his wife and two children seven years ago, agrees. "Nonnational workers pay taxes, so the fact that they can have a say on how those taxes are spent locally – on roads, schools, or services – makes them feel more integrated with their community."
    But many immigrants don't feel welcome, let alone integrated. A 2006 report from the Irish-based Economic and Social Research Institute found that 35 percent of immigrants were insulted, threatened, or harassed in public because of their ethnic or national origin, a figure that climbed to 53 percent for black Africans. It found, however, that the incidence of racism in Ireland was lower than other European countries.
    In recent general elections, there were three candidates representing the Immigration Control Platform, but they received just 1,329 votes. There are no far-right political parties in Ireland, like the British National Party or Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front in France. Attempts to politicize the issue have been largely unsupported.
    One reason for this is historical. Many Irish emigrants were themselves the victims of racism – many British boardinghouses had signs that read "No blacks, no Irish, no dogs" – and these experiences have helped temper local attitudes to the new arrivals. But also, the most common nationality of immigrants between 1995 and 2000 wasn't Polish or Chinese or Nigerian. It was Irish, returning migrants who are reversing the flow of emigration (in the US, nearly 35 million people claim Irish ancestry).

    Still, the Irish government has been proactive. "One of the recommendations from the World Conference on Racism, held in South African in 2001, was for governments to design national action plans," says Kensika Monshengwo, training and resource officer with the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism. "The Irish government was quick to put in place a National Action Plan Against Racism that is used by the police, education institutions, and service organizations."
    Ireland's Employment Equality Act outlaws discrimination on nine specific grounds. "You don't find that in many other countries. Even the European Union directive only has six grounds," say Mr. Monshengwo.
    As part of its response to the National Action Plan Against Racism, the Irish police force, An Garda Síochána, changed its entry requirements to allow nonnationals to apply for positions. Speaking recently, Brian Lenihan said that the Garda "must be broadly representative of the community it serves, and the changes in Irish society are starting to be reflected in the intake of Garda recruits." At present, it has trainees from China, Poland, Canada, Romania, and Denmark.
    "I don't know of any other country where nonnationals can be a member of the police force," says Monshengwo. "It is a major step that is mindful of the future, when the force will be policing a diverse community."
    But problems have arisen. In July, a member of the Sikh community completed his exams and training for the Garda Reserve, but was told he could not wear a turban on duty. Wearing a turban is obligatory for Sikh men, and police forces in the US, Canada, Malaysia, and Britain allow it.
    "On one hand they are being pioneers in opening the door for non-nationals," says Harpeet Singh of the Irish Sikh Council, "and on the other hand they refuse to follow the example of other police forces in including Sikhs."
    This present impasse mirrors a broader debate. Does Ireland follow the multicultural model of countries like Britain, where common public values don't necessarily trump individual cultural practices, or the assimilation model of France, say, where the dominant national culture prevails? Ireland recently appointed a minister of state for integration policy, but a clear position has yet to emerge.
    "[M]any NGOs ... are concerned about the separation between developing an integration policy and our immigration policy," says Denise Charlton, chief executive of the Immigrant Council of Ireland. "We must ensure that our immigration policy does not create barriers to integration. The forthcoming Immigration, Residence, and Protection Bill should clearly define migrants' rights to family life, permanent residence, protection against discrimination, access to services and ... information."
    The bill will come before the Irish parliament convenes this fall.
    Irish policy has been slow to evolve, but many say it's off to a good start. "Remember that diversity and multiculturalism is only 10 years old in Ireland," says Adebari. "By allowing immigrants to participate in society, Ireland has accepted the first generation of immigrants."
    Ireland steps up as immigration leader - Yahoo! News

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