Fianna Fáil Education spokesperson Charlie McConalogue has called on new Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan to engage meaningfully with secondary school teachers over Junior Cert reform.
Deputy McConalogue commented, “The government has allowed this row to rumble on for far too long. Minister O’Sullivan needs to make a clean break from the policy of her predecessor, start taking the concerns of teachers seriously and agree to enter discussions on a compromise. Announcing a one year suspension of the start of the changes would be significant statement of willingness to engage.
“The new Minister cannot ignore teacher concerns about the outright removal of all independent assessment at Junior Cert level. Nor should she ignore the independent advice of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, which proposed a mix of school-based and State-based assessment in its proposals for Junior Cert reform. She should also be aware that Minister Quinn failed to provide adequate time for proper teacher training on the changes that he is expected them to introduce from September next.
“Minister O’Sullivan must not attempt to implement the reforms unilaterally. She needs to announce a one year suspension of the changes, engage with teachers, back away from abolishing all independent assessment and start considering a compromise”.