Teachers to demonstrate during April over Junior Cycle syllabus

Teachers’ Union of Ireland members still opposed to many aspects of Travers proposals

Secondary school teachers will undertake a national lunchtime protest over Junior Cycle concerns later this month and unions will picket centres where training related to the new programme is planned to take place.

The protests are in response to concerns that teachers are not being properly included in the design and implementation of the new English syllabus.

Speaking at the first day of the Teachers' Union of Ireland conference in Wexford, TUI president Gerry Quinn said teachers and their unions had made "considerable progress" in stopping proposed changes to the Junior Cycle, but that unfinished business remains and the dispute is not over.

“We have incrementally restored the externally set, superintended and assessed Junior Cycle terminal examination . . . and have also restored projects for those subjects, which currently have them as 50 per cent or more of the assessment, into State certification.


“Teachers will not now be required to assess their own students for State certification purposes. We can say with credibility that we won the assessment argument.”

Members of the TUI, however, remain opposed to many aspects of the proposals advanced by Dr Padraic Travers, particularly an oral communication project for second year students.

NUI Galway

Meanwhile, lecturers at institutes of technology nationwide appear set for lunchtime protests in solidarity with colleagues at St Angela's College in Sligo, who are opposing moves to merge their institution with NUI Galway.

Lecturers at the college, who have already held a one-day strike, will hold another on April 18th after NUI Galway refused to engage in talks with the TUI.

About 400 delegates delivered a standing ovation when Mr Quinn said NUI Galway has "a disgraceful record in abusing gender equality [by failing to promote female lecturers to senior roles] and a managerial approach."

The TUI president said lecturers in Tralee IT and Waterford IT have secured strong mandates for industrial action in opposition to merging Institutes of Technology to become Technological Universities (TUs).

“We are not opposed to TUs, but for a TU to operate properly, significant additional funding and resources are required, including the recruitment of additional staff.”