Fianna Fáil has said it’s regrettable that secondary school teachers are now moving to take industrial action over the Government’s refusal to consult them about major Junior Cert reforms.
It comes after members of the ASTI and TUI voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.
Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Education Charlie McConalogue has repeated his calls on the Education Minister to back away from abolishing all independent assessment at junior cycle level.
Deputy McConalogue said, “Minister Quinn has made a complete mess of reforming the Junior Cert by refusing to consult teachers from the beginning. He has failed to listen to their concerns about the impact of completely scrapping independent assessment at junior cycle level. He has also failed to provide adequate training for teachers on his new school-based certificate.
“This ham-fisted approach has created unnecessary conflict with teachers, leading now to the very real possibility that secondary schools across the country will be hit with industrial action from next month. While it’s clear that the Junior Cert is in need of reform, this process should have been conducted hand in hand with the teachers who are expected to implement that reform. The failure to do this has forced teachers into an extremely difficult position.
“It’s time now for the Minister to recognise that the removal of all independent assessment at junior cycle level is not the answer. Not only has he ignored the genuine concerns of teachers and parents, he ignored the advice of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, which sought a mix of school-based and State-based assessment. He now needs to back away from abolishing all independent assessment and start considering a compromise. And he must do this in full consultation with teachers.”