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Annual media Profiling of the Minister for Education and Science

category national | disability issues | other press author Tuesday March 25, 2008 19:45author by C Murray Report this post to the editors

Irish Times Blanket Coverage of INTO Conference

The I.T Newswire is full of Information on the attendance of Mary Hanafin TD at the INTO Conference.
headlines emerging discuss the secularisation of the Primary School System (only the religious would
put up with the degradation that seems obvious to most parents..) and the ongoing 'reform'of the sector.
I though that our 'Multi-culturalism' was strictly of White-eastern Europeans and bi-lingual Polish community,
given the fight that many Nigerian parents have had to put up to have their kids access health and education
services. Ms Hanafin did not dissapoint, her speech is accessible to download at:-
http://www.into.ie/ROI , it is currently unavailable on http://www.education.ie (Department of Education and Science)
Irish Schools Map Site
Irish Schools Map Site

INTO website contains both John Carr's address which is excerpted below and Minister Hanafin's address
the department of Education and Science does not contain a copy of either address*

Firstly No FF education Minister has attended in ten years the Dsylexic Association Conferences, where parents of
Special Needs Kids have consistently agigtated for better services for kids, including access to educational
psychology services in order that kids can get help which include:

1. Readers for state examinations.
2.Adequate access to resource and IT.
3. Exemptions from the Irish language Programmes.
4.recognition og their conditions in the teeth of relentless mainstreaming in the state sector,
where capitation grants to travellers have been removed and until this last year Private sector capitation
had been increased.

John Carr's Address:

'I said to you last year that the INTO would be happy to see you come back and "finish the job that needs to be
done in Primary Education", I should have course said of course said "provided you received the democratic
endorsement of the people...far from finishing the job that needs to be done, you have allowed it to grind to a halt,
far from progressing that I raised with you last year, the primary education agenda, this year has gone into
reverse"

http://www.into.ie/ROI

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/85274
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84271
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83156

The issue of reducation in services to kids with autism is ongoing and I will add in media links in comments.
the Dept of education and Science has also been taking part in the tribunal on abuse of children in Care.

author by C Murraypublication date Tue Mar 25, 2008 19:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/82156

author by C Murraypublication date Wed Mar 26, 2008 12:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Delineated in the link above is a protest which occurred in Loreto in the run-up to
the general election (the pupils wanted a canteen and proper sports facility) the
area round the school which takes pupils from Crumlin, Dolphin's Barn, Drimnagh
and Clondalkin believe that these facilites would be beneficial to the community.
The local pool is gone. The hospital is under threat of amalgamation by DOHC..,

Anyway, the school is truly multi-cultural with girls from Cote D'ivoire, Ghana,
Martinique, and many girls in veils too. The kids stood outside fighting for
proper facilities and the exsistent board and infrastructure respects both freedom
of religious association and expression. they do not need a focus group to teach
them respect and despite terrible difficulties with funding are doing really well.

Interesting then that Ms Hanafin insists on calling a forum on multi-culturalism.
I will be looking very closely at it's composition and usage of veto- cos one thing
is sure focus groups instituted by government tend to have 'leaders' and not
community advocates. The forum will be instituted in June of this year.

Community is very important and what is essential is that the parents and kids feel a part
of forum process and not dictated to, in the final analysis most of the girls do not see
difference in religious belief or colour of skin ; but each other.

The capitation grants cuts to Irish speaking schools and travellers groups are
also a cause for community concern. FF seem adept at increasing political lobby
and making issues more complex than is necessary for many in small communities.
Funds can easily be diverted into library and IT systems but then we would not have
shiny PR packages telling us how to behave toward cultural difference.

Infrastructure is about clean water, adequate health provision and good schools.
People can pay for elitism if they choose but in so doing they are starving the
local schools of basic funding. Two-tierism.

author by Scepticpublication date Thu Mar 27, 2008 08:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The girls in veils would not be allowed to use the pool in any case so it makes no great difference to them whether it is closed or not.

The application of leftist ideology and dogma, however well intentioned, can have very perverse affects. Post war in the UK the education policy destroyed that part of the education system that worked well for the low and moderate income people – the grammar schools – and funnelled everyone into the classic bog standard comprehensives thus the quality of public education was irrevocably undermined all in pursuit of the false god of Fabian egalitarianism. Similarly this celebration of multiculturism for its own sake is rather dated. Of course pupils from diverse backgrounds have to be treated fairly and equally but it’s not an argument for extra funding in itself nor is it it notable purely in and of itself.

 
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