Posted by Sally O'Brien, on 02/12/2014. Tags: Education And Politics Parenting Teachers
Secondary schools will be without students this morning as the teachers’ strike goes ahead despite last minute appeals, leaving nearly 350,000 students without tuition as the 27,000 teachers take industrial action.
The proposed changes to the Junior Certificate, which would see an end to traditional type exams and a move over to continuous assessment in the classroom, has resulted in strike action.
According to the Irish Independent
: ‘Union leaders are opposed to the proposal that teachers assess their own students, claiming it will lead to inconsistencies between schools and undermine standards, and the lack of information about what resources will be available to schools to implement the changes.’
Attempts had been made to avoid today’s strike by the Dept of Education with various concessions made by Minister Jan O’Sullivan. The Minister has described school-based assessment as integral to reform of the junior cycle. However she agreed to reduce the portion of marks assessed by teachers from 100 per cent to 40 per cent but says no further diminution is possible.
However, Teachers’ Unions ASTI and TUI represent a united front against changes and continue with their position that all components of the state exam should be externally assessed.
The ASTI has stated
“Despite the Minister’s decision to change the original proposals, the introduction of 40 per cent school based assessment would compromise the credibility and transparency of the examinations process,” said TUI President Gerry Quinn. “A system of teachers assessing their own students for state exam purposes will significantly change the relationship between the teacher and student "
The national executive of the Irish Second-Level Students' Union (ISSU) has criticised the "lock out" and its president, Leaving Certificate student, Craig McHugh, accused the unions of using their pupils as pawns.
"The ISSU is very supportive of the proposed reforms to the Junior Cycle, and believes that this is in the best interest of the students", he said.
In the Irish Independent
, The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny warned teachers that: "It is unfair on students and parents especially those in the very exam years that these reforms refer to. "The Minister for Education has engaged in dialogue and listened to concerns of the teachers' representatives" he added.
Another strike is set for January 2015.