Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Education Charlie McConalogue TD has urged Minister Jan O’Sullivan to immediately engage with the ASTI Union to avoid industrial disruption during the coming months.
Deputy McConalogue made the comments following the announcement by ASTI that its members had rejected the Junior Certificate reform proposals.
“It is clear from this rejection of proposed reforms to the Junior Cycle assessment and curriculum that teachers do not have any faith in the Minister as a custodian of the education system,” said Deputy McConalogue.
“Minister O’Sullivan’s bullish decision to exit consultation with teachers on reform proposals prior to its rejection today was short-sighted and its results have been regrettably predictable. It has led directly to this impasse we are now faced with regarding reform of the Junior Certificate. The likelihood of industrial action being undertaken by teachers has now risen considerably.
“Before the summer, teacher unions outlined that they had outstanding concerns and wished to engage further with the Minister. However Minister O’Sullivan blankly refused to engage in further takes, a decision which I argued against repeatedly when I warned it could lead to teachers rejecting the reform proposals. Unfortunately the Minister has allowed this situation to come to pass as a result of her behaviour.
“Minister O’Sullivan and her predecessor former Minister Ruairi Quinn have been far from reforming. The Government has been in power well over four years but they have little to show for it when it comes to reform of our education system. Minister O’Sullivan’s tenure has been marked by a consistent failure to consult with stakeholders in the education sector. The botched approach used when it comes to implementing reforms has alienated teachers and has setback reform of the Junior Certificate.”