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Political unionism more concerned with outdated tests than children’s development - Hazzard

29 January, 2015 - by Chris Hazzard

Sinn Féin MLA Chris Hazzard has said he is amazed that certain unionist political parties are more focused on maintaining an outdated, unjust and unregulated testing system for 11 year-olds than the development of our children’s education.

Speaking today Mr Hazzard said:

“For years with the 11+ much of P6 and a significant part of P7 years were taken up with coaching children within the class room for the test.

“With the abolition of this unfair test some schools have continued to coach children for unregulated tests established by the grammar sector in order to maintain their elitist position.

“This could be time spent in improving numeracy and literacy, developing linguistics and languages or IT skills.

“Many of these grammars while making these unregulated tests a prerequisite for entering the school will take all grades from A to D making a nonsense of the argument being put forward by Grammars for the need for tests.

“The TUV and UUP are now critical that the Department of Education is warning schools not to waste valuable class time to coach children for these unregulated tests.

“If any other sectors within Departments such as Health, Justice, or Regional Development were wilfully ignoring guidance these politicians would be the first out screaming from the roof tops.

“However in order to score political points over a Sinn Féin controlled department the wellbeing of children and their families are being used as a political football. This is a disgrace.

“It is as simple as this. Schools should not be placing the education of our children at jeopardy in order to coach for unregulated tests.” 

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