The first National Gifted Education Awareness Day was held on 8th April 2011 in conjunction with EU Talent Day on 9th April with the official support of the Department of Education and Skills. The Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn, declared his own personal recognition of Gifted and Talented students:
“I very much welcome the initiative to establish the first EU Talent Day on 9 April, together with the National Gifted Education Awareness Day in Ireland on 8 April. We must nurture and support talent and giftedness, if we are to meet the challenges which face today’s society. This is a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate talent in many disciplines, and to promote an inclusive education system which meets all our students’ needs.”
Official support was given by the national associations of both Primary and Post Primary school Principals (NAPD, IPPN), the largest secondary school teachers’ union (ASTI), and three national parents’ representative bodies (NPCpp, PACCS, FEDCBS). This was probably the first time that all these groups have come together in support of an event such as this.
Due to the kind support of KPMG, a poster (see above) and a leaflet containing information and resources were posted to each of the 4100 primary and post-primary schools in Ireland inviting them to mark the occasion. A print-friendly version is available here.
At Dublin ZOO on Saturday 9th April where there were two important events:
1. The presentation of TEACHIreland, an association for teachers of Exceptionally Able Children in Ireland. All teachers were invited to register their interest by signing the register on the TEACH Ireland site.
2. The presentation of Gifted and Talented Network Ireland. The main concept was the creation of a network of interested parties with a view to progressing gifted education in Ireland.