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North’s Education System in need of major overhaul

29 May, 2007

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, South Antrim MLA Mitchel McLaughlin has said that the North's Education system is in need of a major overhaul.

Speaking in the Assembly debate today on literacy and numeracy Mr McLaughlin MLA said:

"Our education system requires a complete overhaul and a determined focus to account for the reality of a changing world.

"Our education system from primary through to third level needs to be equipped for and capable of educating our young for the knowledge-based economy that we must begin to build.

"Programmes designed to build self-esteem and self-confidence should also be part of the curriculum in order to equip students with the tools they require to deal with the societal problems that they will encounter as they progress through life.

"While I agree that the need to address the numeracy and literacy failure rates are vitally important I believe that a broader approach is needed to re-vamp and re-focus the entire education experience. We must provide an education system that values every single student and provides a variety of options to match natural abilities.

"I am of the view that this Assembly and our team of Ministers will recognise the imperative to develop an approach to education that will in time benefit all aspects of their individual briefs, whether in Academia, economic development, in the health professions, in Agriculture or in Construction and its allied trade's skills.

"The challenge of forging a more prosperous and stable future begins in the classroom." ENDS

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