Irish School Aid is an independent volunteer organisation whose purpose is to financially support Irish-medium education in Ireland. Irish-medium schools, known as Gaelscoileanna, are primary and post-primary schools functioning in accordance with standards set forth by the Irish Department of Education and Skills. Children in the Irish-medium schools are developed and nurtured through the provision of a full and comprehensive curriculum as set out by the Department. Irish is the language of instruction in Irish-medium schools and the language of communication between teachers, children, parents and boards of management.
The primary goal of Irish-medium schools is for the survival of the Irish language as a living means of communication, through excellence in education. Research findings demonstrate that there are many advantages of bilingualism and of the immersion education sector for children, including linguistic, educational and social advantages.
Irish School Aid was founded by Stiofán Ó Labhraí due to the current situation of Ireland's educational climate, which includes more English-medium schools than traditional Irish-medium schools and its belief that this is having a detrimental effect on the language. Irish School Aid's stated purpose is to combat the loss of the Irish language, and foster support in the educational system. Irish School Aid's intention is to direct capital from donors to schools under a model that sends larger donations to needier schools, and smaller donations to more financially secure schools.
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