Questions for the Education Spokespersons

by admin on 24/01/2011


With the date of the impending General Election looming ever closer, we need to know what the plans of each of the political parties are in relation to education, teaching and the role of technology in schools. So, with this in mind, I plan to send a list of questions to each of the Education Spokespersons: Mary Coughlan (Fianna Fáil), Fergus O’ Dowd (Fine Gael), Ruairí Quinn (Labour), Paul Gogarty (Green Party) and Pearse Doherty (Sinn Féin). The answers to these questions will be posted on this site so that teachers may be better informed about the education policies of each of the parties.

I’m asking visitors to the site to suggest questions that can be asked to each of the spokespersons. I think 8 – 10 questions will suffice. The questions should be short and succinct and, in the interests of equity and fairness, the questions should be suitable to be put to each of the parties so that readers can compare and contrast the answers. The objective of this exercise will not be to vent anger at the Government parties. We need to know what the plans of each party are for the future of education.

So, if you think you have a short question that could be asked of each of the political parties, please add it as a comment at the end of this post, or add it to the Seomra Ranga Facebook page. We need to get organised fairly quickly, so questions need to be in by next Monday Jaunary 31st.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Simon Lewis January 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm

Nice idea. Will get thinking!

Maria January 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Will the next Government be wasting money on prefabs? They are more expensive to rent out every year and to upkeep, than actually building a proper heated building.

Rozz January 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm

My questions Re:
1. When will church control be honestly taken o of primary schools? Faith formation should be outside of school hours…
2. The billion euro being earmarked for the development of Irish-when are the government going to take compulsory Irish out of schools and make it more fun? The Welsh system of education where specialist and Irish-obsessed teachers went into schools to teach 3 times a week has overhauled Welsh? When are we going to admit that the money being thrown at Irish is not giving any success? Let’s try something totally different! you think the teacher training entry requirements need to change? It should not be based entirely on points, in my opinion.

Nigel Lane January 26, 2011 at 12:45 am

I second Maria’s suggested question. Would love to know how much has been spent on prefabs over the last decade alone in this country.

Lorna McHugh January 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I commend your pro-active approach

1. When are the government planning to allow Learning Support Teachers to provide appropriate support to pupils on the top end of the Special Educational Needs category (gifted) as indicated in the EPSEN act. We need to harness the abilities of these pupils for their own development and for the good of the country.

Emer Byrden January 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm

These are the qusetions I’ll be asking when they come knocking on my door…

1. What is their party’s position on class sizes?

2. What is their position on the inadequate funding of schools and the fact that the reliance on “voluntary” contributions disadvantages poorer students even further?

3. What position does their party take on the fact that the salaries of teachers in private schools are paid by the State?

4. When is the issue of church control in education going to be addressed honestly?

Thanks for doing this.

Leslie Graves January 30, 2011 at 8:41 pm

I would like to know, now that we are suppose to be supporting a ‘smart’ economy, knowledge, research and innovation and creativity, when we are supposed to be fostering and searching for talent and the talented, why there is still no mandate in regards to providing appropriate provisional methodologies in schools for students who fall into the highly able, talented and possibly gifted ranges, could a start be a 6-8 module course as part of the regular teachers college courses, or, at least as part of those for learning and sen support and resource teachers, so they could advise mainstream?

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