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This morning.

Teachers (and members of the Association of Secondary Teachers union) from St Kevin’s College in Glasnevin protest outside the school against reform of the Junior Cycle.

Almost 30,000 teachers are holding a strike today affecting 350,000 secondary school students.

From left: Edele McCredden, Rachel McKenna, Fiona Murphy, Mark Shaw and Elaine Keane.

(Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

Meanwhile…

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Teachers Jill Cunningham (left) and Joan Rual outside Loretto College, Stephen’s Green, Dublin this morning.

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)

57 thoughts on “Class Action

      1. Soundings

        “I suppose we’ll upgrade his marks then, at least he’ll be able to pursue an arts degree at Trinity. And thanks about the gym, we were all devastated when wee Timmy burned it down”

        If 30,000 teachers think it’s a bad idea, then maybe the non-experts in government should listen.

        And, did you know, that the secondary school year in Ireland typically spans 167 days, so two days off on strike mean all the wee Timmys are getting 99% of their annual educmacation in 2014/5, and if the government doesn’t u-turn quickly, that 99% might plummet.

    1. Mister Mister

      Ask the teachers how many of them were awarded their primary degrees, H-Dips etc based on assessments from their own lectures and supervisors.

      They have no problem getting their jobs based on this, but they have big issues with doing it at junior cert level ?!

      1. DazzaMazza

        Yes because they all went to college in their own village. And their parents dropped them off every day. You’re right, its the exact same thing.

      2. pissedasanewt

        I doubt the teachers had their parents wading in when lazy little Timmy only got D when he wanted an A because he spent hours on the playstation instead of putting the work in. I can imagine teachers getting ignored in shops etc because they didn’t give the result that somebody thought their kid deserved. Its a stupid idea..

      3. Fardays

        Third-level examinations and assessments will be double marked, and moderated by an external examiner.

      4. Mister Mister

        Suck it up, as it is they send report cards home on a regular basis.

        Are you saying they shouldn’t have to write reports, or discipline their own students either for fear of bumping into mammy in the shop ?

  1. Nugget

    How can a child’s ongoing learning be assessed if it is not done by the teacher who sees there progress day after day? This question seems lost in the debate with the teacher unions who represent a group who in EU terms are second on to Greece for getting longer holidays and despite recession are the 4th highest paid. This strike is really about the loss of income incurred when middle management grades were cut.

      1. DazzaMazza

        Do we ever factor in the fact that Ireland is one of the most expensive countries in the world in which to live and perhaps when all of our wages are compared on an OECD graph we all might look a little overpaid.

    1. Fr Larry Duff

      What has TEACHERS HOLIDAYS got to do with this?
      I am sick to death of hearing people whinge about teachers holidays.
      Keeping teachers in school or kids in the classroom for longer does not result in increased ‘productivity’ or smarter kids. It is some twisted logic that this govt has latched on to.
      Have a read up on the actual OECD report, instead of plagiarising from some populist article on the Irish Independent website
      http://www.oecd.org/edu/EAG%202012_e-book_EN_200912.pdf
      It says Finland has one of the shortest school years in the OECD and some of the best results in international education rankings. Their teachers pay is also comparable to ours.
      I would rather my kids be in school for a shorter length of time and have balanced lives than spend an exorbitant amount of time in a classroom falling asleep from over tiredness, with no benefit.

      1. Lilly

        + 1. I would add that teaching, when it is well done, is a demanding job and teachers need their holidays to recharge and avoid burning out.

        1. Parp

          Nugget: “How can a child’s ongoing learning be assessed if it is not done by the teacher who sees there progress day after day?”

          Parp: “*their

          Big red X for you today on your C.A.”

          Do go on, what is it I need to learn?

  2. Just sayin'

    This is clearly about money. Teachers use exam supervision and exam correction payments to pay for their holidays. Any threat to this will be opposed. Obviously, many of them care about children’s education too, but striking repeatedly over reforms to the Junior Cert is ridiculously disproportionate. Parent who have to take days off to mind their children aren’t amused.

    1. Fr Larry Duff

      My mother, now retired, was a teacher in a disadvantaged part of a city in Ireland. She once had a parent burst in the door of her classroom and grab her up by the throat, over a new healthy eating initiative the school had launched, whereby each child had to bring in a healthy lunch, with a piece of fruit – no sweets allowed. The parent had a criminal record the length of his arm and was annoyed that the school was trying to tell his kid what he could/couldn’t eat. Would you like to be marking this kids junior cert? What about a TDs child in your class? Money isn’t even an issue here. They are not looking for a raise. They do not want this brought in ….. full stop.

        1. Fr Larry Duff

          Hahaha. Jaysus yer hilarious.
          Don’t come crying to the teacher, when your little toothless obese kid is getting bullied at school.

      1. Medium Sized C

        Yeah, that’s it like.
        I walked past at teacher holding one today and I thought “jaysus, back yourself son”

  3. Soundings

    350,000 secondary students multiplied by two strike days = 700,000 lost school days. What’s a 7-hour school day worth to a student? €50? Then 700,000 * €50 = €35m loss. That’s far more than Irish Water will net in 2014 after its costs of collection and amortizing the €540m cost of installing the meters.

    Maybe this government should brush up on its ‘rithmetic

  4. Raymondo

    I heard Breda O’Brien making good use of the strike so she could go into the studio at Morning Ireland rather than being in class. That was handy for her.

    1. bisted

      …apparently she said that if the same sex marriage referendum passed she was going to marry her granny..

      1. Frilly Keane

        Good pension planning
        It must be said

        ‘Probably qualify for a medical card too once she’s in receipt of a widows pension

        (No offense intended, ‘ just playing the preposterousity game )

      2. Jane

        Well there’s a lot of confusion on what gay marriage would make people do. There was a fella on Clare Byrne the other night who was worried that it would mean a lot of blond Danish sperm getting into the system here as a direct result, depriving baldy old boggers of a chance to score a lezzer in Starlite Nites Disco Sports Bar, and another who appeared worried that it would compel him to give his da a go.

        so you know, there are aspects to consider, aspects that you wouldn’t necessarily imagine.

  5. Maa

    What is wrong with continous assessment? Have they not though of the child who does brilliantly well in class work and projects…but crap when it comes to exams. Why should that child be at a disadvantage because they prefer the practical than the exam. Shows they can think outside the box rather than learn some prose off by heart??

    Why not prepare them for the real world where they will always be continually assessed???

    Also – of course this is about money….how much will they lose out on exam supervision and correction.

  6. scottser

    i for one am glad that our children are learning about strikes and dispute resolution in a very real and practical fashion.

  7. ahjayzis

    It; the fupping JUNIOR CERT.

    The government has already caved from 100% in-house assessment to 40%.

    Parents associations, principals associations and the agency that handles the curriculum and assessment are on board.

    They just want money. Because again, it’s the JUNIOR cert.

    1. Lilly

      Why do people keep saying it’s only the junior cert as if it is unimportant. The results of the junior cert determine which stream students enter for the leaving cert. I’m glad my teachers, power-hungry despots that they were, didn’t get a chance to determine my future. The system we have is not perfect but at least it’s fair.

      1. Parp

        “The results of the junior cert determine which stream students enter for the leaving cert.”

        What do you mean by this? What’s a stream?

  8. Mr. T.

    Is my taxpayers money paying for people asking if their taxpayers money is paying for their taxpayers money.

    1. Lilly

      They are dead right to stand up for themselves. Ordinary workers in all sectors are being squeezed beyond belief at the moment – and for what? So that the likes of DOB can prosper.

        1. Lilly

          They are standing up for students as well. People can do more than one thing at a time, can’t they. The ones I’ve spoken to all maintain this is just an attempt to dumb down the education on offer in our schools.

      1. Just sayin'

        I think we need to amend Goodwin’s Law to measure how quickly Denis O’Brien is cited as the cause of all society’s ills.

        1. Lilly

          Well you must know how Enda rolls by now. Lower education spend means more money for his pals in Siteserv. There things are not unconnected.

        2. Kieran NYC

          Or just a proper investigation of all his alleged dirty dealings once and for all that politicians and the media don’t then ignore.

  9. Frilly Keane

    Why not have both?

    Continuous assessment and the existing system of synchronised exams with external correctors

    Then you’d have results that are comparible as to what’s actually the best method

    Best being transparent, honest and reliable BTW

    IMO the exam hall is the only way to accurately assess a student

    1. Jane

      The proposals are a really unsafe way to grade exams and would really put teachers in an invidious position. While it may be just the junior cert, as it stands the junior cert is an excellent preperation for handling the stress of the Leaving and it does influence streaming for senior cycle.

      From the student’s point of view, the system has to be fair and impartial and be seen to be fair and impartial. You should not feel that your marker has any personal interest in what you’ve written or how you perform. When I did state exams, I found the fact that my scripts almost certainly were not going to be read by a person known to me extremely freeing and as a result probably managed a better and less inhibited exam than under other circumstances. I’m sure there are plenty of students who have a similar experience.

      From the teacher’s point of view, asking them to grade their own pupils is asking them to be subject to a great deal more pressure than they need. They already get enough from the pushy parent, the aggressive parent and their delightful children. Also, while there’s plenty of commentry about the lavish riches that teachers earn, there are plenty of teachers now who are subsisting on part time and temporary jobs and who are unable to get full time employment. Surely they should be able to make some extra cash?

      1. Lilly

        Why don’t these teachers who are part-time or temporary get the exam correcting gigs instead of giving them to ex teachers who have retired on decent pensions?

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