Friday, 4 February 2011

In case you’ve forgotten…

JUST in case you have forgotten, the education post-primary school transfer debacle has yet to be resolved.

As thousands of pupils ponder their results, and others wonder whether they should have done the test, or are relived that they have not had to go through it, a resolution to the transfer conundrum has not been reached.

We still have an Education Minister entrenched in her position. Caitriona Ruane issued a press release on Thursday, which on the one hand offered her best wishes to pupils who went through the tests and on the other hand said children should be able to choose their school without “any process of selection/rejection”.

On the other side, we have the equally entrenched positions of the unionists, who are of the school of thought, much like Ms Ruane that they shall not be moved.

Which, of course, leaves the children stuck in the middle…

As if this wasn’t enough, trade unions waded into the education debate this week, but not about transfer tests. Instead the issue was the teacher redundancies. There were charges about scaremongering and debate on the air, and then who should row into the phone-in debate?

Of course, it was Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd and from the DUP’s Mervyn Storey.
Was that absolutely predictable or are we becoming increasingly cynical that everything to do with education will see a Punch and Judy knockabout verging on the ridiculous.

It is perhaps an idiotic dream, but come May, when election fever and general stupidity dies down there will be calm, sober reflection. Maybe all the political parties will sit down and come to some consensus on transfer tests, the Education Skills Authority, the funding crisis, segregated education and the crumbling school estate – but then we wake up and realise that it will be the same entrenched sides…

No comments: