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Education Minister: ‘Do we really need 150 minutes of religion class per week?’

In a recent broad-ranging interview, Ruairí Quinn talks patronage, third-level fees, Margaret Thatcher’s funeral and his own future.

EDUCATION MINISTER HAS asked one of Ireland’s Catholic school patrons if 150 minutes of religious teaching is required in primary school classes each week.

During a broad-ranging interview, Ruairí Quinn told TheJournal.ie that he asked the managers of the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association if the two-and-half-hours a week was needed when science and physical education were afforded just 60 minutes per week in the same schools.

“This is not a political debate,” he added. “This is a debate that parents should have, that schools should have. And parents should have the choice.”

Hear more from the Minister about school patronage (plus, more from the interview after the video):

(YouTube: Thejournalvideo)

Margaret Thatcher

On 17 April this year, Ruairí Quinn attended the funeral service for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. TheJournal.ie asked if this was something he could have envisaged himself doing as he started his political career in the Labour party:

(YouTube: Thejournalvideo)

Student fees

The Minister says he has no regrets about abolishing third-level fees in 1997 or signing USI’s student contribution pledge ahead of the last election:

(YouTube: Thejournalvideo)

Fee-paying schools and grinds

Quinn explains his decision to reduce teacher allocations in fee-paying schools, and talks about the money parents spend on their children’s education:

(YouTube: Thejournalvideo)

Teachers

The Minister talks about teacher supply and demand, noting that many Irish teachers can travel to Britain and other parts of the world in search of work:

(YouTube: Thejournalvideo)

Own future

Will he run in the next election?

(YouTube: Thejournalvideo)

-Camera and editing by Michelle Hennessey

More from TheJournal.ie‘s interview with Ruairí Quinn:

‘Nothing on the table’ to provoke teachers’ strike, says Minister

Traditional, conservative groups recognise homophobic bullying

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