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Ruane tells teachers education is changing

25 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has told teachers that education is facing major changes.

The Minister was addressing around 800 delegates at the Irish National Teachers Organisation Annual Congress in Kilkenny.

She said

"Education in the north is undergoing much needed change and I have a programme of progressive reforms underway. I want to reduce levels of underachievement and ensure every child has access to the best educational opportunities possible."

Delegates at the conference also gave their support to the ministers criticisms of schools planning to introduce entrance tests to select pupils. INTO General Secretary John Carr echoed the minister's views and criticised Derry's Lumen Christi College for planning entrance tests.

The minister also outlined to delegates the areas of north - south co-operation in education, including the organisation of a major conference on Autism to be held in Dublin on 15 April.

Minister Ruane also spoke about growing demand for integrated education and Irish medium education and said

"I have a duty to support Irish medium education where demand is growing in a school population that is shrinking overall. I believe that the children are best served by immersion in the language to ensure they have maximum opportunities to benefit from their lessons." ENDS

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