DIAZ BarbaraReligion will always make a difference: Kids and Young Life and Times 2015 survey results
by Bárbara Orozco DÍAZ for Northern Ireland Foundation
11 May 2016

The 2015 Kids’ Life and Times (KLT) and Young Life and Times (YLT) survey results were launched by Access Research Knowledge (ARK), on 11 May 2016 at the School of Sociology at Queen’s University Belfast.

KLT and YLT are annual surveys that record the views of P7 children (10-11 year olds) and 16-year olds, respectfully, living in Northern Ireland about issues that affect them.

The event was led by Dr Dirk Schubotz (Director of Young Life and Times Survey), who introduced the opening speaker, June Wilkinson (head of OFMDFM Children and Young People’s Unit).

June Wilkinson explained how the Northern Ireland Assembly has been involved in improving the wellbeing of all children and young people in Northern Ireland since 2012, through the Programme for Government as well as the Children and Young people Strategy (CYPSP).

The presentation of the key findings in the topic of shared education was delivered by Dr Katrina Lloyds (Lecturer at School of Education at Queen’s University and part of the ARK team).

Here, four things that young people like about getting together with different schools were:

  1. making new friends (92%)
  2. doing classes that they didn’t normally get to do (88%)
  3. being with young people from a different ethnic background (81%)
  4. being with young people of a different religion (79%)

Dr Schubotz gave the key findings from the 2015 Surveys:

Sport and Physical Activity: only 9% of respondents said that they did not take part in any physical activity. The most important reason for taking part was to be fit and healthy (94%), following by having fun and meeting friends (86%). For young people (YLT respondents), the favourite activity was walking, while for kids (KLT respondents), it was football. The reason young people did not practice more was a lack of time, and for kids it was a lack of knowledge, which involved parents setting up activities for them.

Community Relations: overall, the respondents felt that community relations were better than five years ago, and that it will be better five years’ time; only 9% of respondents felt that community relations will be worse. Over three-quarters of YLT respondents (79%) felt that religion will always make a difference to how people in Northern Ireland feel about each other (with the same percentage, 78%, over the last 3 years).

Caring: 9% of young people consider themselves carers, for siblings and elderly relatives. The majority of young people enjoyed caring (75%), never missed school because of caring responsibilities (79%), and were not prevented from going out with friends (74%)

Child Sexual Exploitation: 58% felt that it would be equally hard for young men and young women to report sexual exploitation, while 82% said that if it happened to them, they would report it.

To close the event, Nikki Ireland and Courtney Rodgers — two young girls — shared their experience and views of internationalisation and language learning, underlining the desire of young people to study languages for work and study and the proposition of travel as a part of education development.

The launch of the 2015 KLT and YLT results surveys concluded with comments and questions of the public gathered at the event.

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