A leading teachers union representative has called on public representatives in South Tipperary to make their views known on the proposed Junior Cycle reform for secondary level schools.
Seamus Lahart, executive member of the Teachers Union of Ireland, said TDs and councillors should be more forthcoming on where they stand on the issue.
He made his call on Tuesday as members of the TUI and the ASTI staged protests outside all secondary schools in South Tipperary to highlight their opposition to the Junior Cert reforms being introduced by Education Minister Ruairi Quinn.
Mr. Lahart said that teachers in all second level schools nationwide feel that in order to raise conciousness with regard to serious educational issues regarding the introduction of the new Junior Cert, such a demonstration was necessary.
Teacher unions will also ballot its members before the end of March on the proposals which include the abolition of the Junior Cert examination carried out by the state examinations commission and replace it with school based assessment and project work.
“Minister Quinn is about to abandon an examination system which in a state that has had many corrupt practices, has been unique in determining the education standards of the students without fear or favour regardless of who you are” said the teachers union representative. The TUI spokesman said Minister Quinn has attempted to disguise this as an effort to modernise the current Junior Cert and has refused to acknowledge the commitment of teachers and their unions to continually improve and alter the syllabus.
“Parents of primary school children would need to be informed on the new proposals which in the view of the teacher unions will adversly affect their children’s preparation for Leaving Certificate and will increase stress on students” he said.