Haynes says she believes there is evidence that Irish-language schools are failing to achieve the quality of instruction that their Gaelic predecessors had achieved.
However, she says that there is also a strong need to improve the quality and access to information of those who are attending the schools, particularly in rural areas.
It is clear that it is not always the case that a child who is born into a Gaelic-speaking household has an equal chance of achieving the quality that their mother tongue would have.
But in this particular case, there are some clear reasons to question the claims that the Irish language is the best in the world, she said.
She said that, in the past, a large number of parents had given up on their children becoming fluent, and many were disappointed that their children had not succeeded.
She suggested that there was also a need to create more opportunities for children to become fluent in their parents language, and that this could be done through education.
However she said there were areas where there were gaps in the education of the children attending the Gaelic schools.
Haynes said she hoped that, with the government’s decision to make the schools subject to the Government’s accountability framework, there would be a positive impact.
“I am hopeful that the accountability framework will create a new opportunity for our young people to improve their English and Irish.
That is the only hope that we have of having them successful in their future,” she said .”
It is not a time for celebration.
It is a time to recognise the work that has gone into ensuring that we are achieving the highest standards of Gaelic.”
She said she believed that it was important to recognise that there were also gaps in quality in the Irish-speaking schools in rural Ireland.
“What we have seen is a massive failure of quality and of accessibility to information in the Gaelics,” she added.
In an address to the conference, Haynes said that a lack of quality information in Gaelic had been a major cause of the language’s demise in Ireland.
She described the situation as “the worst of all worlds” and the most pressing challenge facing Irish language education in the coming decades.
Hayes also said that in the next few years, the government was working to build more opportunities to enrol Gaelic learners in higher education.
“In the next three to five years we hope to see an increase in the number of people who have a Gaelics degree,” she concluded.