“When nurses go on strike they don’t walk away from their patients. The education of our children is equally important. We don’t want to see any more disruptions in schools or unequal opportunities at Junior Cert Exams,” says Rebecca Hemeryck, PRO of the National Parents Council post primary (NPCpp).
While the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) is conducting a ballot of its members on proposals which emerged from talks between the Union and the Department of Education and Skills, parents are concerned by the impact that this dispute has on their children.
With the recommendation of the ASTI Central Executive Council to reject the proposals and the exams approaching, parents are feeling more and more frustrated and angry.
“If the members of the ASTI, in line with the recommendation of its Executive Committee, refuse to change their policy of non-co-operation, I expect the Department to confirm to us that it will abandon its plan to proceed with the examination in its current format. To do otherwise would severely prejudice our daughter and all those children who have been prevented from undertaking the assessments as they will only be marked and graded on 90% of the available marks for English,” says a parent from Dublin. “It is quite clear that our children are being used as pawns in the dispute between the Department and ASTI and as parents we are outraged.”
The National Parents Council post primary calls on the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) and the Department of Education and Skills to stop using children as pawns in this dispute. They are calling for:
* No more disruptions of education of children
* Equal opportunity for all children at Exams
* Any further action to take place outside teaching hours
* Ballots to be free and secret
“We believe it is unfair to place our children in the front-line of any dispute. No student should be penalised by way of fewer marks being available in an exam nor should they lose any hours in the classroom,” says the President of the National Parents Council post primary, Ms Rose Callan.