Dáil Éireann - Volume 523 - 11 October, 2000

Written Answers. - Heritage and Culture Education.

251. Mr. U. Burke asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands if she will, in co-operation with the Department of Education and Science, provide all schools at first and second levels with copies of videos showing the best features of our heritage and culture not currently available to develop an interest and respect for such features in our landscape from an early age; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21517/00]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands (Miss de Valera): I have always believed that the effective communication of the conservation message to children of school going age is a key element in our efforts to effectively protect our heritage in the long-term.

Towards that end, I have instructed the education and visitor services division of my Department to examine how this message might be better delivered to schools, and in that context a number of avenues are being actively considered. These include a more effective system for liaison by my Department's heritage sites and properties with local schools, the preparation of an appropriate heritage module for use at transition year level, and, as the Deputy has suggested, a video which would present the essentials of the heritage message in clear and easily understood terms.

Some of these proposals will take longer to pursue than others, and may have staffing and other resource implications which will have to be [1839] evaluated. Relevant issues will also have to be fully discussed with the Department of Education and Science.