GAA Learning Programme to offer assistance
By Cian O’Connell
The GAA is providing a daily learning programme to help parents, teachers, and children learning from home.
Wexford GAA Vice Chairman Mícheál Martin, a primary school principal, is spearheading the project with resources also to be provided for second level students.
A decade ago Martin was involved in the implementation of the Céim Ar Aghaidh/Step Ahead programme which was an initiative produced from 2010 to 2015 seeking to help teachers and pupils.
“This is being done for primary and secondary school students,” Martin explains. “My end is the primary school and Eoghan Hanley is going to do it for secondary school too. So we will have a really comprehensive programme.
“We did the Céim Ar Aghaidh project years ago. There will be daily lessons on the GAA website and we hope to email them to county and club secretaries for them to forward on to their networks. We want to make them as accessible as possible.
“The key message we want to get out is that we want to help parents engage children in some form of learning, both physical and academic. That is really the big thing, for it to be of some assistance. We will cover all of the school curriculum, we will cover every subject. We will try to cater for junior infants to sixth class in the primary project.
“RTE are doing a comprehensive programme and we have spoken to them in how we can best link with their programme. We aim to do something with that.”
Engaging students in an enjoyable way is what Martin hopes can be achieved during this initiative. “You are trying to create fun and create a link,” Martin says.
“We will set out in every lesson the subject, the area being covered, it will all be linked to the curriculum. The aim for it is to be fun.”
These are demanding times, but Martin is adamant that this project can provide valuable assistance away from the normal classroom setting.
“As a primary school principal I'm aware it is a struggle for parents to get children to learn from home,” Martin admits. “This is to try to help them learn from home and will help cut out some arguments in terms of doing some work because it is something the kids will definitely enjoy.
“We will cover every subject, it will all be fun and simple. We aren't trying to burden people, an important message is that it is not the natural environment for children to be learning in their home. They are used to learning in schools, maybe doing a bit of homework afterwards.
“This is something totally out of their structure so it is important for us not to push children too hard. That is why making sure it is a fun based exercise will be a big help.”
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