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Sinn Féin welcome Education Minister's visionary statement

4 December, 2007

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson, Paul Butler MLA has welcomed today's 'visionary statement on the future of six county education' from Caitríona Ruane.

Mr Butler said:

"Cuirim fáilte roimh ráiteas stairiúil an Aire.

"Today's announcement by the Education Minister Caitríona Ruane presents a vision for the future of our children and young people. Sinn Féin has long advocated the promotion of academic excellence and an end to academic selection.

"The 11-plus has given us nothing but academic division and is detrimental to parents, children and teaching in our primary school classroom. It branded the majority of our children as failures and has an adverse impact on many in terms of their sense of worth and esteem.

"The proposals made by Caitríona are forward thinking, progressive and promote equality of education. Election at 14, rather than selection at 11 makes sense.

"Sinn Féin wants to see the best opportunities for all of our children in an education system that will cater for all of our children's educational needs. The use of academic selection at the age of 11 through the 11-plus failed 80% of our children annually.

"Already many grammar schools work beyond the 11-plus and are becoming increasingly all ability in nature as they seek to take pupils of all grades in response to falling rolls.

"Caitríona Ruane's vision for an education system is child centred and a vision which is focused on encouraging young adults abilities to flourish." Deireadh

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