Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Public Meeting in Larne Leisure Centre‏

24 September, 2008

John O'Dowd MLA addressed a public meeting at Larne Leisure Centre last evening, 23rd September. Entitled 'Sinn Féin's Vision For Transforming Education', the Sinn Féin Education spokesperson fielded questions for almost two hours from parents, teachers and other interested parties, about the Education Minister, Catriona Ruane's proposals for transferring to post-primary education and the revised curriculum.

The meeting was hosted by East Antrim Sinn Féin and chaired by Councillor Oliver McMullan, local Sinn Féin spokesperson on education and a member of the North Eastern Education & Library Board. The meeting attracted a cross section of opinion from parents and academics both opposed to and supportive of the Minister's proposals.

Cllr McMullan said;

"I was delighted at the attendance and by the passion shown by those who aired their views, particularly parents of P6 children who will be taught the revised curriculum. When hosting such public meetings, which are being rolled out across the North, you are baring your soul to opponents of what you are proposing, as well as supporters.

"The atmosphere whilst electric at times, was very cordial and I trust everyone found it worthwhile. Certainly the feedback I have been receiving has been very positive. My only criticism would be that 53 local schools received personal invitations, yet few were represented. Parents however demonstrated their interest by attending and contributing to the debate. Complacency is not an option and I cannot overstate the need for schools to begin teaching the revised curriculum.

"When the debate ended, I took the opportunity to discuss issues pertaining to local schools with parents. If any parent wishes to discuss such issues, I would be pleased to speak with them in my capacity as a member of the NEELB." ENDS

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