‘Tackling the injustice of the transfer test’

Sums time! Children work on their numbers at the Love 2 Learn group.
Sums time! Children work on their numbers at the Love 2 Learn group.

A local youth group have set up an innovative new learning club in the city in response to what they’ve described as the “injustice” of the current transfer test system.

Mol an Oige which is part of the faith based ‘Search’ youth group has joined forces with the Ancient Order of Hibernians and launched the ‘Love 2 Learn’ club, where local children, aged between six and ten, learn basic literacy and numeracy skills in a pressure free environment.

Youth Leader Oonagh McAllister, who is spearheading the project, said: “It costs £25 per hour for tutoring for the transfer test. A fee which is beyond reach for many parents.

“Therefore Derry Search Youth group in association with the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) recognise that when children fall behind in primary school, it has a huge negative impact on their self esteem and future choices. In an attempt to overcome this barrier the‘Love 2 Learn Club’, has been set up to support children aged between six and ten who are lacking educational confidence or have difficulties with basic literacy or numeracy skills. We aim to expand this to an afterschool club if funding is secured, providing affordable tutoring, facilitated by qualified teachers youth workers and childcare professionals who will volunteer their time.”

Oonagh said many of the people who had offered their time to help young people, had been through similar barriers to learning themselves, but with extra support had gone on to excel in their chosen fields.

Many of the young people we have come in contact with over the years in Search have had a negative school experience. Many of these participants are now qualified teachers, youth workers, doctors, social workers, professionals in their field and want to give something back to the programme that set them on the right path.”

For more information on ‘Love 2 Learn’ contact Oonagh on 07540959407 and don’t miss Sunday’s Journal for more information.