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Minister using children in dispute with ASTI – O Clochartaigh

27 November, 2013

Speaking at the Oireachtas Education Committee today on plans for reform of the Junior Certificate Sinn Féin Senator, Trevor O Clochartaigh said:

“Reform of the Junior Certificate is welcome and any move away from rote learning is a positive step.

“But it goes without saying that if such initiatives are to be successful, especially for students, then it is imperative that they are fully resourced and supported by the key stakeholders.

“This is not what is happening when it comes to Junior Cert reform.

“A recent survey by The ASTI found that almost 50% of principals in schools surveyed have almost no capacity to implement the reforms.

“Teachers have yet to receive the necessary training or resources to enable them to deliver the changes and Minister Quinn has thus far refused to address these issues in a constructive and open way.

“Sinn Fein calls on the Minister to engage with teachers without preconditions and to work towards addressing their concerns surrounding Junior Cycle reform.

“It is not acceptable for the Minister to use the promise of engagement as a political bargaining chip in his dispute with the ASTI.

“Our children deserve better and the Minister should not use them as political bait.

“The Minister needs to meet with the ASTI and address their concerns regarding implementation of the Junior Cycle.”

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