We ask the candidates some short questions on various initiatives brought in by government over the last couple of years. We hoped for some short answers but sometimes…
Aistear has been welcomed and commended by teachers for providing a framework for continuity of learning for children from birth to age six. However there has been a lack of state funding and of a fully resourced implementation plan on a national basis, resulting in many challenges for schools and teachers.
As principal teacher of a large Junior School, I was delighted when a number of our staff opted to do Aistear training seven years ago. We have embraced Aistear in our school, despite the huge challenges presented by overcrowded classes, and decreased funding. I am determined to ensure that the government delivers on its commitment to lower class sizes for our youngest pupils, so that teachers will be enabled to implement Aistear methodologies. If elected I will campaign for a comprehensive programme of inservice training for teachers and school leaders, for an annual Aistear grant and especially for lower class sizes.
Aistear play-based learning in our Infant classes is a wonderful initiative. However, the DES has not properly funded it. For its proper implementation, Aistear needs small classes, large classrooms and lots of funding. There is no sign of a DES commitment to providing these.