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Education Reform Vital Ruane tells summer school

15 August, 2008 - by Caitríona Ruane

Sinn Féin Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has told delegates to the Parnell Summer School that reform of the education system in the North of Ireland is vital.

The 2008 Parnell Summer School, held in Co Wicklow, is underway this week on the theme "Educating Ireland". Education Minister Caitríona Ruane addressed delegates on "Education in the North".

The minister said:

"In the north of Ireland we have an education system that produces many great achievements, and I celebrate those. In our schools we have principals and teachers who are professional and dedicated in giving the best educational experience to our children and young people. But, we also have too many young people coming out of school without qualifications and without important literacy and numeracy skills.

"Our education system is outdated and in need of reform to ensure that all children, from every background, are given the opportunity to fulfil their potential. I have a programme of progressive reforms planned to make education in the north fit for the 21st century. A programme that puts children, not institutions at the centre of every policy.

"It will involve building a system which can sustain a range of different types of schools and provision which values them all equally. I want to preserve academic excellence and improve performance of the system so it caters for the needs of all our young people. To achieve academic excellence we do not need academic selection, which most countries abolished many years ago.

"We can build an education system that prepares our young people for a rapidly changing world and encourages schools to work together for the good of their pupils." ENDS

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