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Northern Ireland is forever condemned to remain a polarised community due to the schooling system

letter of the day: divided society

Published 23/05/2016

Regarding the letter headlined 'Terrorism not parades are real cause of division' (Write Back, May 13), I'm afraid the letter writer is wrong: terrorism and parades are both the result of division.

To say Northern Ireland is a divided community is to state the obvious. The question is: why? And why does it continue to be divided? For that, I blame the schooling system. Like everywhere else, children in Northern Ireland are born naked and innocent. That is where the similarity ends.

There is a greater than 60% chance they are born into a polarised community, where the only people they interact with are the same religion as their parents. At that point, they go to a primary school, where almost all the pupils are the same religion as themselves. Should they go to high school, it will also be the same religion as the parents.

In other words, they will be taught to be either a Protestant (unionist), or a Catholic (nationalist) and, by the time they reach 18, they will be so indoctrinated into their tribal culture they will spend the rest of their life festering in it. Only the strong ever escape it.

The letter writer in this case was probably taught to be a unionist and cannot see the other side of the discussion. Of course, the obvious answer is to educate everyone together. Spend 10, or more, years side-by-side with someone and you will at least understand what makes them tick.

However, there does not appear to be any political will to educate everyone together, as the decision-makers themselves have already been indoctrinated by the same system. Politicians recognise it is easier to get elected by playing the sectarian card. How sad.

LIVE AND LET LIVE

Toronto, Canada

Belfast Telegraph

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