Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education Jonathan O’Brien TD, in response to proposed reforms to the science syllabus, has today called on Minister Ruairi Quinn to listen carefully to the concerns of Professor Áine Hyland (UCC) and to discuss the proposals with teachers as soon as possible.
Deputy O’Brien said:
“We’re all agreed that if we’re to have world class learning in our schools then we must have world class standards.
“The standard of education that students receive should not be set according to what is the cheapest to provide.
“There is no doubt that reform is needed but it shouldn’t be achieved by dumbing down exams.
“There needs to be proper planning, discussion and analysis of our education system in order to implement the best practice for the benefit of all students.
“It is important for the Minister to take on board criticisms by Professor Áine Hyland of UCC where she warns of a possible lowering of standards by focusing on learning outcomes rather than traditional building blocks of knowledge. Professor Hyland also warned that the guidelines provided to date lack detail.
“In light of this, I am calling on the Minister to sit down and discuss this matter with teachers before any further guidelines are agreed as they are best placed to advise on what reforms are achievable and most beneficial to our education system and students.”