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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
# no light ahead
No resolution in sight for striking teachers
The action today has seen 27,000 of the country’s teachers taking industrial action.

TEACHERS HAVE BEEN on strike today against proposed changes to the Junior Cert examination.

Under the new proposals, teachers would be required to grade 40 per cent of their students’ work internally, leading to complaints that such a system would be unclear and unfair.

The proposed changes to the Junior Cert examination had initially proposed that teachers mark 100 per cent of their students’ exam work.  

Video / YouTube

The changes have been defended by the Department of Education as giving students a more balanced educational experience that places less emphasis on an end of course examination.

Across the country 27,000 teachers have gone on strike today over the proposed new Junior Cycle. This has resulted in a day off school today for 330,000 students across the country. 

When the strikes were announced last month, Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan described the decision as “disappointing and disproportionate”.

Further strike action is in place for January should a resolution not be reached.


Union action taking place today by the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) and the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) included the picketing of Rosmini Community School in Drumcondra.

Speaking to, President of the ASTI, Phillip Irwin, said:

Today has been an important day for us. As a last resort we’ve had to come out, close schools and picket them. We hope the seriousness of our position is now understood and accepted, and that on that basis that we can have engagement with the Minister and that we will find a resolution.


Gerry Quinn, President of the TUI, expressed his doubt about an immediate resolution.

“Unfortunately I’m hopeful at this point. Ultimately I would be hopeful. I think today has been necessary to focus minds and to show how determine the teaching profession is on this issue,” said Quinn.

On potential concern from teachers over continuing to lose pay for strike days, Quinn said:

We would prefer if this was not a protracted dispute. If it has to be, it has to be, but we would prefer if it wasn’t. We’re hoping that these days, and the one planned in January – will help to focus minds all around.

Minister for Education 

Speaking outside Government Buildings today, O’Sullivan said:

“We already had a facilitated process and I would be happy to go back to a facilitated process again. We need to see some movement.”


The issue around them assessing their own students is central to this. This is about a new type of learning for the students. It is about valuing things like project work and things like creative thinking, and a number of intelligences that are not examined by an end of term written exam.

On the possibility of proposed strikes in January going ahead, O’Sullivan said, “I believe they can be averted, and think there are ways of averting them.”

Read: ‘Somebody dying on the street outside the Dáil is not acceptable’

Also: Teachers are striking today – Here’s why

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