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View Full Version : Mary Coughlan Wields The Axe Over Education - ASTI, NTO, INTO Conferences 2010



C. Flower
06-04-2010, 10:39 AM
Mary Coughlan has made it clear that severe cuts in education budgets are on the way. Already early retirement has proved a fiasco, with the recruitment embargo having to be lifted to prevent school closures in September, after costly early retirement deals were taken up. Already both teaching posts, book allowances and Special Needs Assistant funds have been cut back.


Most informed commentators, including Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Laureate economist, have pointed to education as the sector that should be ring fenced through economic crises.




Tánaiste and new Education Minister Mary Coughlan has warned national school teachers that the sector will not be immune from further cuts.





Mary Coughlan made the remark during her address at the Irish National Teachers Organisation conference in Galway this morning.



Dozens of delegates held posters saying "Stop Blaming Public Servants" during the Minister's speech, while retired principal Maura Harrington stood in protest beside Mary Coughlan during her address. However the Tánaiste admits more adjustments are needed to help resolve the economic crisis.




"We have more to do to fully stabilise our public finances," Minister Coughland said




"As you know, a further €3bn of adjustments will be required in the next budget. €1bn of this is likely to come from capital expenditure and the remaining €2bn will have to be achieved through reductions in the cost of public services and through taxation.




"The reality is that this country will have less to spend on public services for the foreseeable future," she said.




"This is a fact and we cannot afford to underestimate the challenge it will pose."




The Tánaiste said it was not possible for her to shelter education completely from any further adjustments.




"For me to do so would be dishonest, given that the bulk of public expenditure is accounted for by health, education and welfare," she said.




Read more: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/more-adjustments-needed-coughlan-tells-teachers-452815.html#ixzz0kJLpqlfj (http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/more-adjustments-needed-coughlan-tells-teachers-452815.html#ixzz0kJLpqlfj)

DCon
06-04-2010, 10:47 AM
Did the Tanaiste explain why she and her government granted long-term salary increases based on a short-term tax increase?

Was it perchance to fuel the property boom even more?

ZANU-FF
06-04-2010, 10:59 AM
I think Ms Coughlan should have sent Elaine Byrne instead

Great piece in Todays IT

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/0406/1224267747477.html

Ms Byrne is the calibre of individual we need in executive power.


As the teacher union conferences get under way, more focus needs to be given to the future of Irish education, writes ELAINE BYRNE

THE ANNUAL teacher union conferences are currently under way and much of the focus over the next week will centre on their response to the public service reform deal recently brokered at Croke Park.

The motions on the various programmes reflect deep concern among teachers about the security of their jobs, pay and pensions.

The cohesiveness of the trade union movement will also come under scrutiny given the growing crevices between the expectations of union leadership and membership from that negotiation process. Understandably, these issues will dominate internal debate at the various conferences.

Perhaps not enough discussion will occur on the future direction of Irish education. Teachers have an enormous moral influence on their students, and an unrealised power of the ability to shape the minds of a generation. Those that regard teaching as a vocation appreciate its potential to challenge the intrinsic belief systems of a country by analytically engaging students and facilitating independent thinking.

I learnt as a tutor at the University of Limerick and as a lecturer in Trinity College Dublin that the perception of educational success is dependent on what your beliefs about education are. The confidence to motivate critical thinking within the classroom has a profound impact on the relationship between education, civil society and democracy.

The reinvigoration and transformation of Irish society will only be achieved through the generation of self-actualising individuals from our classrooms. Recently, on these pages, Prof Michael Cronin (DCU) advocated the introduction of philosophy as core subject in the Irish educational system, as is the case with many of our European neighbours.

The present structure of access to third-level education rewards students who learn rather than understand. The points race replaced creative inquiry with exam-oriented teaching. The consequences of this, as any lecturer with responsibilities for first-year teaching will admit, is the best part of a year spent deprogramming students and educating them to think for themselves.

An intellectual audit of the roots of our current malaise may conclude that a predisposition towards short-termism, deference and a fear of asking awkward questions were responsible for why the depth of our crisis is greater than in other countries, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Maybe the Sex Pistols had the answer to Ireland’s crisis of political, economic and ethical authority. “Goodbye authority/The ones who think that they know it all . . . Just take a look at the world they’ve made” are the punk lyrics of one of their more anonymous songs, Revolution in the Classroom. Ireland is a nation defined by the educational reforms of the 1908 Irish Universities Act, the 1967 Free Education Act and the 1995 abolition of university fees, which coincided with greater political and economic freedoms. As a consequence, more people had the possibility of accessing education and contributing to Irish public life.

A new education revolution would examine not just access to education, but reassess the way in which it is delivered.

Donogh O’Malley’s historic decision to introduce free post-primary education in 1967 was made on the basis of a policy document initiated by Patrick Hillery called Investment in Education, the research for which was derived from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The OECD published a set of internationally comparable indicators last year on 30 education systems in the developed world. The purpose of Education at a Glance is to provide objective suggestions for educational policy reform.

The OECD report recommends that the effectiveness and efficiency of teachers can be improved through performance appraisals and incentives for continuous improvement. Ireland has the weakest evaluation structures within the OECD, where 39 per cent of secondary teachers have been without any form of school evaluation over five years.

Along with Hungary and Malta, Ireland is ranked as having the greatest “predominance of structuring practices” where teaching is based on the principles of explicit learning goals, revision and homework review.

Student-oriented teaching practices are more pronounced in Denmark, and encourage a flexible learning environment with a greater emphasis on student autonomy. This is exercised through student self-evaluation and participation in classroom planning and individually adapted tasks. The Icelandic and Norwegian education systems encourage active citizenship through enhanced activities which promote creativity, such as working on projects and debating.

Perhaps now more than ever there is a duty to rethink the necessity, structure and purpose of the Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations. Demographic trends provide us with a fantastic opportunity to fundamentally reshape the attitudes and outlook of a new generation.

By 2015, Ireland’s 5-14 year-old population will rise by more than 15 per cent. Within the OECD, only Spain and Israel share such high demographic trends.

In February, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) published Innovation and Identity: Ideas for a New Junior Cycle, which presented a set of ideas about what a junior cycle of the future might look like. It emphasised a teaching context which promoted attributes of ethical behaviour, leadership, innovation and personal and social development.

Can you imagine an Ireland with leadership qualities like that?

The ignorant rote beaters wouldn't have the stomach for it.

C. Flower
06-04-2010, 11:22 AM
They've left some people in a hopeless position by first raising and then reducing salaries.

DCon
06-04-2010, 11:25 AM
They've left some people in a hopeless position by first raising and then reducing salaries.

But not the people who sold them houses at inflated prices based on their raised salary.

That was the game.

C. Flower
06-04-2010, 11:29 AM
But not the people who sold them houses at inflated prices based on their raised salary.

That was the game.

I also think that Fianna Fail indulged in vote-buying and wanted to be perceived as the Party that Looks After the Public Sector.

When we lost competitivity and manufacturing jobs after 2000, instead of trying to deal with it they continued to overheat the property market and bumped up public sector jobs to replace lost manufacturing jobs.

DCon
06-04-2010, 11:42 AM
I also think that Fianna Fail indulged in vote-buying and wanted to be perceived as the Party that Looks After the Public Sector.

When we lost competitivity and manufacturing jobs after 2000, instead of trying to deal with it they continued to overheat the property market and bumped up public sector jobs to replace lost manufacturing jobs.

They definitely did. More proof of what is good for FF not matching what is good for the Nation.

BrendanGalway
06-04-2010, 12:36 PM
Heard a report on this on the Lunchtime news. Someone tells Coughlan in front of the assembly : "Dont believe half the things you've heard about Public servants and we wont believe half the things we've heard about you."

Sweet.

jmcc
06-04-2010, 06:30 PM
For most Irish people lucky to have a job, today was a working day. These f*ckers get loads of holidays and are overpaid and yet they keep up their whinge. Well make the lot of them self-employed and see how long they last in the real world.

Regards...jmcc

C. Flower
06-04-2010, 06:33 PM
For most Irish people lucky to have a job, today was a working day. These f*ckers get loads of holidays and are overpaid and yet they keep up their whinge. Well make the lot of them self-employed and see how long they last in the real world.

Regards...jmcc

The children of the self-employed will be going to the same under-resourced schools with bulging classrooms as teachers' children..

Ministers children I assume are destined for Gonzaga and Clongowes etc.

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/teachers-unions-divided-on-pay-and-reform-deal-452879.html

Xray
06-04-2010, 07:23 PM
Did the Tanaiste explain why she and her government granted long-term salary increases based on a short-term tax increase?

Was it perchance to fuel the property boom even more?

Well it worked a treat, because for 5 or 6 years worth of pay rises people sold their lives to buy property from her mates. Salaries will be dropping for a lot longer than they rose. Inflation was high during the rises, it will also be high during the falls.

Xray
06-04-2010, 07:27 PM
For most Irish people lucky to have a job, today was a working day. These f*ckers get loads of holidays and are overpaid and yet they keep up their whinge. Well make the lot of them self-employed and see how long they last in the real world.

Regards...jmcc

Teachers should be self employed and people forced to pay them directly themselves. That would cure you and the likes of you. You expect everything to be there for you on a plate but not to pay for it. Well you cant afford it now and it is not going to be there for much longer.

Good luck with the minimum wage teachers. The rest of us will be in a first world country where holidays and wages that don't behave like a roller coaster at the norm.

jmcc
07-04-2010, 06:55 AM
Teachers should be self employed and people forced to pay them directly themselves. That would cure you and the likes of you. Which is what I suggested. So how would that cure me and the likes of me? It would have an adverse effect on many teachers though as they would not be able to coast their way to a comfortable retirement at the taxpayer's expense. I suppose I am lucky to have had more good teachers than bad but I had significant advantages that lessened the effect of the bad teachers. However with real benchmarking, bad teachers would be eliminated and the pupils would benefit as a result.

Regards...jmcc

C. Flower
07-04-2010, 02:27 PM
Mary Coughlan's speech was received silently in the ASTI Conference just now.
There are also reports that she was "jostled" by Anti-NAMA protestors.

http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/tanaiste-jostled-by-protesters-at-teacher-conference-452987.html

Xray
07-04-2010, 03:59 PM
Which is what I suggested. So how would that cure me and the likes of me? It would have an adverse effect on many teachers though as they would not be able to coast their way to a comfortable retirement at the taxpayer's expense. I suppose I am lucky to have had more good teachers than bad but I had significant advantages that lessened the effect of the bad teachers. However with real benchmarking, bad teachers would be eliminated and the pupils would benefit as a result.

Regards...jmcc

I dont have a problem with the proper management of any work place to root out people that are not working hard or effectively, but there is nothing in the current deal to do that. All they are doing is not replacing people that leave the system. That is not a very effective way of rooting out waste in my opinion.

However if you want to out-source all of the PS functions and let the people providing that service set the price you might be in for a shock. Some services are provided by the state to protect the user not the supplier. Alot of PS workers will enter the private sector running an effective monopoly for services that those than can afford will have to pay for.

Call an ambulance in the USA and find out.

ang
07-09-2010, 11:02 AM
The OECD latest Education at a Glance Report ranks Ireland fourth from bottom out of 33 countries for the amount of overall wealth invested in education in 2007:-


The report also shows that from 1995 to 2007 the proportion of GDP that went to education in Ireland fell by half a percentage point.

At the height of the boom Ireland was spending significantly less of a proportion of its income on education compared to other OECD countries.


http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0907/education.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter


Were we not supposed to be the "smart economy" ?

Captain Con O'Sullivan
07-09-2010, 11:05 AM
Its a pretty grim irony that one of the demonstrably poorly educated of senior ministers in Ireland is to make a case for education cuts.

The Republic of Ironyland.

disability student
07-09-2010, 03:24 PM
I wonder would Mary Coughlan would cut further as regards to the special needs budget as her deaf daughter is in the mainstream school who provides with special needs assistants??

Slim Buddha
07-09-2010, 04:53 PM
Its a pretty grim irony that one of the demonstrably poorly educated of senior ministers in Ireland is to make a case for education cuts.

The Republic of Ironyland.

It's not that she is poorly educated. She just hides it very well

Fing Fers
07-09-2010, 07:54 PM
"The reality is that this country will have less to spend on public services for the foreseeable future," she said.

Read more: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/more-adjustments-needed-coughlan-tells-teachers-452815.html#ixzz0ys4RRDwt

Cheers Mary, thats alright with me. Keep that lovely salary of yours and keep pumping billions into private banks, your doing a good job. What do we need public services for anyway?

TotalMayhem
07-09-2010, 08:07 PM
It's not that she is poorly educated. She just hides it very well

Nothing hidden there, never has weapons-grade stupidity been more obvious.

Slim Buddha
07-09-2010, 08:45 PM
Nothing hidden there, never has weapons-grade stupidity been more obvious.

It begs the question as to what she did in UCD and if she is an alumnus of that institution, can we take it seriously?

TotalMayhem
07-09-2010, 08:54 PM
It begs the question as to what she did in UCD and if she is an alumnus of that institution, can we take it seriously?

Seems she has a bachelor's degree in Applied Social Science, for all it's worth.

Slim Buddha
07-09-2010, 09:09 PM
Seems she has a bachelor's degree in Applied Social Science, for all it's worth.

The "weapons-grade stupidity" wins out over 3rd-level education in this instance, no question. Not that she ever made any use of the 3rd-level education, going almost immediately into the family business where weapons-grade stupidity is distinct advantage (FF TD for Donegal South-West)

Baron von Biffo
07-09-2010, 11:43 PM
It's not that she is poorly educated. She just hides it very well

She had access to education but it didn't take.