A student and a teacher from Portlaoise have been awarded a prestigious national award, in recognition of their work in promoting global justice and an equal world.
Alegra Seawar and her teacher Ann Byrne, from Scoil Chriost Ri were jointly awarded a ‘WorldWise Global Schools Diplomatic Passport’.
The award is in recognition of their extra-curricular work in development education, which included holding a Climate Change Awareness day at the girls school.
The prize was presented at an annual schools conference at the Galmont Hotel in Galway in April.
The WorldWise Global Schools Director is Rita Walsh.
“The school, under Alegra and Ann’s leadership, is undertaking development education work across every aspect of school life. They have organised a Climate Change Awareness Day in the school, amongst other activities,” she said.
The Portlaoise duo were amongst 300 students and teachers from 70 secondary schools who attended the 5th annual Irish Aid WWGS annual conference.
Fifty of the schools were awarded WWGS Global Passports.
The conference – led by TV presenter Michael Carey – consisted of school exhibits, interactive workshops, plenary discussions and debates.
The event was aimed at providing a platform for Irish secondary school students to speak out and take action on critical global issues, and to call for the Irish government to take the issue of sustainability seriously.
The day focused on the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals that provide the framework for reducing poverty and inequality globally by 2030. Some of the goals focused on climate action, responsible production and consumption and reducing inequalities.
“Development Education provides schools with the opportunity to really explore global issues and to identify appropriate action they can take in response to inequality and injustice.
“All of the students and teachers who are at the conference today have demonstrated their commitment to making the world more just and sustainable – which is inspiring for us all,” said Rita Walsh.
The event was hosted by Worldwise Global Schools (WWGS), the organisation charged with delivering Irish Aid’s schools Development Education programme.