Teachers v the Government: Who will watch 2,000 unqualified monitors?


Once again children and parents are pawns in a battle between teachers and the Government. You'd think the teachers would have learned their lesson last year, when families endured trauma around the Leaving Cert as a result of the teacher's strike.

Now parents are facing the prospect of either having their children sent home from school for days on end or having their children monitored in school by unqualified people standing in for teachers on supervision and substitution duties.

Minister for Education Dr Woods seems to think that it would be easy enough to come up with 2,000 people suitable for the task of keeping on eye on students. But shouldn't any person who has a responsibility for interacting with young people, and tacitly guiding them, be qualified to do so?

We've already seen a case in Britain where an unqualified supply teacher, Amy Gehring, ended up in court accused of having sex with pupils in her charge.

She was acquitted, but not before her intimate friendships with 15-year-old boys showed how dangerous it can be when adults have no sense of the boundaries which must be kept between teachers and pupils.

If only parents and children could go on strike.