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Culture Minister Launches Ulster-Scots Primary School Conference
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CULTURE  Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has launched the ‘Enhancing the Curriculum – Ulster-Scots culture in the Primary School’ conference at Titanic Belfast.

This inaugural event has been organised by the Ulster-Scots Agency to raise awareness within the primary school sector of the educational value of teaching and learning about Ulster-Scots culture and heritage.

Speaking as she opened the conference and launched the flagship schools programme the Minister said: “The Ulster-Scots language, heritage and culture is a valuable part of our shared cultural heritage. I want to encourage and promote the growth of this sector which embraces all aspects of the Ulster-Scots heritage in a positive and confident manner. Promoting Ulster-Scots to the education sector is an excellent way to highlight the benefits of Ulster-Scots not only locally but also to show its links with Scotland and the United States.”

Commenting on the future of Ulster-Scots, Carál Ní Chuilín said: “This is a very exciting time for creating awareness of Ulster-Scots and for you to play a part in shaping its future. The importance of this area of our culture and heritage is recognised for the first time in the Programme for Government 2011-2015 as a building block towards a strong and shared community as well as the commitments given following the St Andrews Agreement.”

Reminding people about the current public consultations which are taking place, the Minister added: “At the moment there are two public consultations taking place and it is important to get your responses. The draft Strategy for Ulster-Scots, Language, Heritage and Culture will underpin and sustain Ulster-Scots in all aspects of life from education, to broadcasting and accessing public services as well as contributing to our tourist and economic offering. Your views on this are crucial, so please take the opportunity to respond before the 27 November 2012.

“Similarly, the Ministerial Advisory Group on Ulster-Scots are seeking public views about a proposed Development and Research Strategy and associated Grant Scheme for the Ulster-Scots Academy. This consultation ends on 7 December 2012 and your input would be greatly received.”