SECONDARY schools across Limerick are closed today as teachers hold a strike over changes to the curriculum.
An estimated 600 teachers across Limerick are taking part in the one-day walkout, backed by the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) and the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI).
They are protesting over changes to the Junior Cert cycle which would see a more assessment-based curriculum introduced, and teachers correcting their own students’ work.
Local ASTI representative Peter Quinn says the public have been broadly supportive of the action.
“I think the public can understand why we are doing this. There was a Millward Brown opinion poll done through the Irish Independent earlier this year, and 60% of parents agreed with this. The system in place is fair and impartial and not open to any criticism whatsoever,” he said.
Mr Quinn said teachers are in favour of accepting other changes proposed by the Department of Education, including major overhauls to IT systems, and changes to practical work.
“We are just not in favour of assessing our own pupils,” he stressed.
Education Minister, and local TD Jan O’Sullivan said yesterday she remains open for talks with the unions, saying: “The ball is in their court”.