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Omagh school marks 40 years of integrated education in NI

OMAGH Integrated PS, Nursery and Pre-School is joining other integrated schools across Northern Ireland in celebrating ‘40 Years of Integrated Education’ since the first integrated school, Lagan College, was established in Belfast in 1981.

Originally established in 1990 in Dergmoney Lane, Omagh Integrated PS is now situated in its modern building on the Crevenagh Road.

Alongside sister school, Drumragh Integrated College, they form the Omagh Integrated Campus.

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Here the school continues the vision of those pioneering parents who first established the school over 30 years ago, with a bustling, happy, and vibrant learning community that celebrates educating children of all backgrounds, abilities, classes, creeds, and none in a supportive, open environment that celebrates and respects differences, but more importantly, our similarities as human beings.

To mark 40 years of integrated education, the school has erected a Peace Pole, first presented to the school by a party of visiting Japanese teachers in June of 2004. They spent an afternoon with pupils and toured the old school site as well as making origami storks with the pupils which symbolise peace in Japan.

The Peace Pole is an internationally recognised symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, standing in vigil in silent prayer for peace on earth and is inscribed in English, Irish and Japanese, with the words, ‘May Peace Prevail on Earth.’

Also attending the unveiling was former principal, Eric Bullick, who was head at Omagh Integrated PS from 1993 to 2009.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Bullick referenced the words of Margaret Mead in describing the establishment of the first integrated school in Belfast, 40 years ago.

She had said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Mr Bullick continued, “In 1990, the task was repeated as a number of parents opened Omagh Integrated Primary.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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