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TUI says more teachers are needed if planned Junior Cert changes are to be made

The Teachers Union of Ireland said they are concerned there is not enough resources to implement the planned reforms.

Students writing
Students writing

THE JUNIOR CERTIFICATE is to be overhauled next year, with a greater emphasis placed on project work.

The new changes will see new courses introduced to the curriculum such as computer programming, physical education and Chinese.

The TUI says it is happy to see reform, but speaking on RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland show, Bernie Judge, Education Officer for the TUI said they do not believe the changes have “been thought out” properly.

Resources

She said that the TUI are concerned that there is not sufficient resources in place to implement the reforms suggested in the context of the current environment.

The TUI are also concerned about the changes in student assessment, in which she said there is a “very significant shift to externally managed and monitored system to a completely school based assessment model”.

She said that some schools could intentionally inflate marks, but said their primary concern is about the lack of capacity of teacher time and general expertise.

“There will be more work for our members, and we are concerned about that, but that is not our only concern, it is one of our major concerns… we are also concerned of the additional work that will come to students,” she said, adding that the workload for both teachers and students will increase under the new regime.

The TUI are also concerned about the additional pressure the changes might place on students.

Over the weekend, Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn said resources are in place to implement the changes but said more resources could be made available if necessary.

Additional teachers needed

Ms Judge said: “We’ll be asking for additional teachers to help with the planning of what is invloved  in this.”

The TUI said they did not have an exact figure of how many additional teachers would be required. She added:

We’re not confident that this will be able to be phased in next autumn. We don’t believe you should start something until you are absolutely certain it will work well. We are not confident next autumn is the right time.

She concluded that the new changes, they feel, would have a negative outcome on students rather than a positive one.

Read: Chinese, coding and caring for animals: Junior Cycle is getting an overhaul>

Read: 10 best Twitter reactions to the Junior Cert results>

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