Minister is right: Intractable teachers

EDUCATION Minister Jan O’Sullivan’s declaration that she intends to continue rolling out the planned new junior cycle programme without the agreement of teachers’ unions suggests that she is running out of patience with the unions and it is hard to blame her.

It is one of the debilitating ironies of Irish life that the great demand for reform is matched — if not surpassed — by a reluctance to embrace it when it is brought forward.

There is too, in this instance, the unacceptable fact that the two teachers’ unions are stymieing a policy agreed by a democratically elected government.

Public employees routinely react to criticism like this by suggesting it is part of a concerted “attack on the public service”.

This of course is bunkum because we all need an effective, well-managed, and high-performing public service.

It is time teachers reviewed their position and remembered that they are there to teach and to implement educational policy, not to dictate it.

Every day this dispute drags on their position gets weaker and the minister’s gets stronger.


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