Robert Magee, recent graduate of Politics with Criminology at the University of Ulster, member of the Washington Ireland Program’s Class of 2014 and past pupil of Lagan College.
Albert Einstein said ‘Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning’. This has a lot of resonance in regards to the current educational situation in Northern Ireland. Sixteen years on from the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland is enjoying relative peace. Yet, despite efforts to promote integration in our political institutions, the teaching system still remains fundamentally segregated.
Integrated education is a passion of mine. Growing up in a predominately Loyalist estate of South Belfast, cross-community interaction was extremely limited. However, following the now defunct Eleven Plus examination, I had the invaluable opportunity to follow in the footsteps of my older sister and attend Lagan College – a decision which undoubtedly changed my life. Here, ill-informed fallacies and misconceptions that I had previously held were replaced with a more open, deeper understanding of all sections of our increasingly diverse society. (more…)