Ford demands more integrated schools on eve of meeting with US education expert

Alliance Party Leader, David Ford, has stated that the number of integrated education places must increase to break down the Berlin Wall of segregation which exists here. His comments come before tomorrow’s round-table shared education meeting at Stormont with the US Secretary Richard Riley, who was the Clinton administration’s Education Secretary.

David Ford said: “I welcome Secretary Richard Riley to Northern Ireland and am glad that such a recognized authority is taking part in the shared education round-table event.

“There is currently a Berlin Wall of segregation in Northern Ireland. To have any hope of demolishing this wall, we must give every child the chance to go to an integrated school.

“Integrated education must be a key priority for government. They must put integrated education ahead of shared schooling, as shared schooling only reinforces division.

“Segregation costs Northern Ireland taxpayers £1 billion per year.

“Two for the price of one is generally considered good value. We have exactly the opposite here. We have one service for the price of two – two primary schools, to pander to those who want a divided society, instead of providing one integrated school, which would ensure far better value for money.

“Alliance wants to see 10% of children educated by the integrated sector by 2010. Government must recognize its duty not just to encourage, but to facilitate integrated education.”


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