Minister Harris turns the sod and discusses the future at Dominican College

On Friday Wicklow Fine Gael Minister Simon Harris visited Dominican College in Wicklow Town in order to celebrate various successes the school has had, turning the sod on the school’s new development and speaking to students.

Speaking about his visit, Minister Harris said, “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to visit Dominican College and speak with the school’s staff and students today. Being able to turn the sod on the school’s new development is a privilege and I am glad to see all the effort over the past number of months start to bear fruits. The school’s new Science and Technology building will be a fantastic asset to the school and its students, and I know that it is an asset that will not be wasted.”

Minister Harris continued, “I want to thank the school’s sports captains for meeting with me and showing me Dominican College’s newly upgraded Hockey pitch, which was funded under the Government’s Sports Capital Programme. This Programme was aimed directly at improving facilities such as these at Dominican College and enabling young people and communities to further develop their sporting skills and abilities. I can’t think of any other County with more deserving sportspeople than our home of Wicklow, and I am sure that the Sports Capital Programme, and others like it will be a boon to the development of Wicklow’s current and future athletes.”

“Along with this, I also want to say a big thank you to the school’s diversity team. It is very encouraging to see young people thinking and working actively towards establishing an inclusive environment in their schools, and it is something I want to encourage. My own Department of Further and Higher Education has an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Unit which is dedicated towards ensuring that people of all backgrounds have access to the same opportunities, and that students are rewarded for their ambition, hard work, and talent, rather than due to the circumstances of their upbringing.”

“Diversity is one of our nation’s strengths, and I want our schools to reflect the open and welcoming reputation which our people are so famous for. I am proud to see that Dominican College have really taken this message to heart, as has been made clear to me today, with 19 different cultural identities and 7 faith denominations and no faith denominations, diversity is truly incorporated in every part of this school.”

“My department is focused on ensuring that accessibility becomes one of the pillars of our country’s education system. We are working to create a Unified Tertiary Sector, where students can see clear paths for progress in their education, where joined-up thinking encourages and enables students to get the most out of their studies and develop their skills in meaningful and rewarding ways.”

“I do not want anyone in this country to be discouraged from walking down the path of education and strive to make the process as seamless as possible. To this effect, we have now managed to have apprenticeships listed on the CAO’s website, so that students can recognise that there are multiple pathways to success available to them. We have launched the Action Plan for Apprenticeships, which is working to deliver high standard and sought-after qualifications. A number of new apprenticeships have also been created, in order to encourage a wider range of students to realise that an apprenticeship can work for them too. I cannot understate the importance and value which these work-based approaches to learning can provide to students, and I urge everyone to research and see if one of the many new educational opportunities, might be the right fit.” Minister Harris concluded.

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