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Unionists accused of running scared of rationale debate on education

25 June, 2008

Sinn Féin Education spokesperson John O'Dowd MLA has accused the DUP of being scared of having a rational debate on the future of post primary education. Mr O'Dowd's comments come after the continuing refusal of the DUP to discuss education at the Executive and attempts by Nigel Dodds to block information on the issue being given to parents and teachers.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Ever since the DUP published their own proposals on the future of post primary education which were lambasted by educationalists in all camps the party has obviously decided to try and hide behind irrational and personal attacks on the Minister in the hope that they will not have to debate the real issues.

"The latest stage of the DUP retreat away from dealing with this issue is to refuse to discuss the issue around the Executive table. Nigel Dodds has now attempted to go even further in trying to prevent the Department of Education providing information on post primary transfer to parents and children. Their position is nothing short of pathetic.

"On one hand they demand a decision on transfer while at the same time refusing to allow the issue to go to the Executive for discussion. On interview after interview they demand that parents and teachers be given more information on post primary transfer while at the same time trying to block the Department doing just this.

"The only logical conclusion that can be drawn for this behaviour is that the DUP are running scared of the issue. They have no credible proposals of their own and they fear a rational debate in the community with parents and teachers armed with the facts." ENDS

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