Secondary teachers strike today

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Secondary school students across Inishowen will not be attending school as usual this morning due to a teachers’ strike.

The Association of Secondary School Teachers (ASTI) and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) have instructed their 27,000 members across the country to strike today, September 2nd, in opposition to changes over the Junior Certificate.

They are opposed to plans for teachers to take on some responsibility for grading their own students as part of the reformed Junior Cycle.

There are plans for a second strike in January, with that date yet to be confirmed.

One of the school’s closing tomorrow is Scoil Mhuire in Buncrana.

Principal Ms. Rosaleen Grant told the ‘Journal’ there were hopes the issues could be resolved “as soon as possible.”

She said teachers saw themselves as “advocates” for their students and while they do not mind the students being assessed and that project and assignment work was a positive step, teachers were of the point of view they do not want to assess their own students.

Ms Grant said there were fears this might lead to “inequalities.”

Last week, Inishowen-based Deputy Charlie McConalogue said the current “stalemate” could not be allowed to continue.

He said the unions and the Minister must “drop their preconditions and participate in meaningful discussions.”

The Fianna Fail Education spokesperson said the “ultimate goal” of the process “must be a better curriculum for our students,” adding there must be an “open discussions process.”