Almost 70% of second-level schools are closed today as the Association of Secondary School Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) engage in the second of a series of one-day strikes over the issue of equal pay for more recently qualified teachers.
From top: Loreto College Dublin 2; pics 2-4: Pobalscoil Neasain, Baldoyle; pic 5: ASTI President Ed Byrne (right) and ASTI General Secretary Kieran Christie and ASTI members
Second day of strike action by ASTI teachers (RTÉ)
The new Junior Cert Cycle.
It’s going to get very ASTI.
Seamus Keane writes:
I appreciate that you don’t normally do this but I’m one of a group of activist teachers in the ASTI union, we call ourselves ASTI Fightback. We’ve long campaigned against the cuts in education, class sizes etc., often clashing with our own unelected officials who we think have been compromised by years of Social Partnership and feel more at home in Government buildings with their peers than in the classroom with ordinary teachers.
We normally agitate for change within our own union and in conjunction with our sister unions but feel that recent developments in education necessitate bringing our concerns to a wider audience while trying to raise funds to aid our campaign.
Our members will be voting on the new Junior Cycle in a few weeks and we feel that this path the mandarins & bureaucrats in Government wish to lead us down is precisely the one that has ruined the education system in the UK, i.e. an outcomes-based curricular model promoting an instrumental, tick-box approach to the curriculum.
Their ultimate aim is the commodification of education where schools will be in competition with each other once league tables are published (the stated aim of Harold Hislop Chief Inspector Department of Education & Skills).
This will ultimately be achieved by doing away with the anonymous, number only exam marked by the State Examination Commission (flawed, yes but incorruptible in the sense that no one can corruptly bring influence to bear on the mark their son/daughter/nephew etc. will achieve).
If we accept this it means that soon schools will assess their own students for the purpose of certification which opens the door to pressure from parents & management for the best results possible. This system has been manipulated in the UK by school managers to corruptly facilitate their climb up the school league tables, a practice that has been exposed by the ITV ‘Exposure’ programme:
We are currently engaged in producing a document highlighting the failings of this system to post to every secondary school in Ireland (700). It is a costly endeavour (stamps alone will cost €476) I was hoping you might post the link to our crowdfunding page [below] – Please also feel free to look at our Facebook page: ASTI Fightback to see what we’re all about…
New Junior Cycle Campaign (iCrowdfund.ie)
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)
Teachers Jill Cunningham (left) and Joan Rual outside Loretto College, Stephen’s Green, Dublin this morning.
(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)
[Education Minister Ruairi Quinn]
Today INTO [Irish National Teacher Organisation]
Tonight ASTI [Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland]
Tomorrow: a bit of a lie in.
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn was heckled almost constantly as he addressed the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland conference in Wexford this evening.
…Earlier, Irish National Teacher Organisation delegates rejected a proposal by Mr Quinn that higher level mathematics at Leaving Certificate level should be a minimum requirement for students wishing to become primary school teachers.
Honours maths though.
What was he thinking?
Earlier: Do The Maths
Quinn Heckled At ASTI Conference (RTE)
Teachers and members of the Association of Secondary School Teachers of Ireland (ASTI) outside St Paul’s CBS on STRIKE during their lunch break (yes) part of a nationwide lunch break stoppage today to protest against changes to the Junior Cert.
The teachers claim different schools could have a different idea of what constitutes a B grade compared to an A grade under the changes.
Thus unleashing anarchy.
(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn gets photobombed by a lewd, grade-dropping tyke [on a school trip] at government buildings this afternoon.
(Laura Hutton/Photocall ireland)