INTO Congress, Moral Panic and Gender, Book Grant Uncertainty

In this episode, I explore the landscape of primary education in Ireland, focusing on the outcomes of the INTO Congress, the ongoing conversations regarding gender identity in schools, and the looming uncertainties over the primary school book grant scheme. I delve into the controversies surrounding teacher compensation for overseas work, the dominance of religious control in education, and the societal response to gender identity within educational settings. Additionally, I express concerns over potential reductions to the primary school book grant scheme.

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Hello, hello. You're very welcome to if I were the minister for education from, I regular podcast, where I look at the world of primary education in Ireland and let you know what I would do. If I were the minister for education on today's show, we look back on the I N T O Congress, the moral panic surrounding gender identity in school. And the uncertainty around the school book grant for primary schools. If you are interested in finding our podcast, you can find it on every podcast platform, whether that's apple podcasts or Spotify. And we're also on YouTube. If you want to read along while I tell you about my thoughts. If you are interested, in following along, there's a show notes or any links that I described, you can find them on the podcasts show notes, and they are available on they're all linked nicely for you with a summary of the podcast there. If you are in a rush. So let's get going. With the I N T O Congress, because. And the auto Congress, for those of you, who've never heard of it or haven't been on it before is it's an annual event for the INPO the A union, the teacher's union Ireland. Ah, where people from all over the country come together to demand that their union put in place certain things for. And it's one time in the year where the media got very interested in teachers. And they tend to before the Congress starts make a guess. Ah, what the highlights of the Congress will be about as a report on us and before the Congress started, I think everybody thought and me included that the whole thing would be all about the housing shortage. And the shortage of teachers. So therefore you will have teachers basically traveling miles and miles, kilometers, and kilometers to get to school. And sure enough, this was the story at the big story about the educate. Or sorry, the IMCO Congress to be highlighting. And it was of a teacher who is driving from port leash to step aside. But in fact, It wasn't it was part of the story of the Congress. The media became fixated on. Teachers working in Dubai. The other countries in the Gulf state and when they returned to Ireland, They were complaining that they were not getting compensated for the time that they were teaching over in, let's say the United Arab Emirates and Dubai. Depending on the school they were in. So just to explain if you are qualified as an Irish teacher, And you work in an EU country or even in the UK. Your service. Ah, in these countries is recognized on the pay scale. However, if you go to the middle east or sorry, even to the Gulf states It depends. Depending on the type of school you go to, your service might be recognized in Ireland or it might not. And this story. From the Irish Independent. There were, many of them is of one teacher. Over, I think his name is Rory. I think it was him anyway, telling a story about he and his wife. We're working over in Dubai. And when they came home, his wife's work was recognized. As for pay when he came back, but his wasn't and it was because of the type of school they were in and in a way it created some sort of inequality. And when he was pressed on this but surely you should have picked a school. That did recognize your pay. The funny thing was that you don't know. What. What type of school you're in until you're actually there and in the job. And you may not even know until you come back and you apply for your increment or whatever, it's for your work to be recognized by the, our stage onto to actually come home again. And it's an interesting one because initially when I was listening to this, I was thinking like a lot of teachers or a lot of people. you've chosen to leave Ireland and you've chosen to go to a country where you're getting paid very well. Your conditions are very good. It's tax-free you'll come home with quite a bit of money. And essentially, I don't really have that much sympathy for you. But then when I was listening to Richie story on the radio, I was talking to, I was a guest on that. I think it always already to stay what I was going to say, but as I listened to Richie story if it was Richie I the fact was his wife was recognized for her work in the same. Country. And his wasn't and it would seem the inequity wasn't very fair. And John Boyle was actually on the same radio at the time. And he was saying that they had done some negotiations. The only two who had done some negotiations. Dash service up to virus at seven years is recognized in certain jurisdictions. And he did recognize and said that it seems a little bit unusual that say. That if you worked in one school in Dubai and you worked in the school and other school in Dubai, you should really. The Irish government should recognize the service, no matter what it was now, Isn't because they're having a laugh over there or they're there. They're just going off the crack or to save money for a, to buy a house and they get here and then some people do I'm sure do that. But a lot of people that go over there is because there wasn't work in Ireland at the time. And this guy went over in 2012, 2013 when there were no jobs in our indictment. I remember I would be advertising maternity leave posts on it could have 500 applications for that post. Things are different now. But we still have a shortage of teachers right now. And we're trying to bring people home, from places. It's but I can imagine if you've been there, if you've invested 10 years of your life. And you're coming home and you're not recognizing you're starting from the very beginning. What you really come back? What is the incentive to come back? And I suppose my argument with myself in a way is, should that be recognized because we have a shortage of teachers now, or should we, say look you, you did go off and, maybe you went off for, reasons because there were no jobs over there. Maybe you went over recently where there were loads of jobs in Ireland on, should you get the benefit or the reward for that? And it's a definite debate. I think we definitely need to have my, I suppose my inclination is inequality thing that if we are paying some people that are going to Dubai and we're not paying others, then we need to make equalize that we need to definitely, I either do one or the other either re. Reward. No one. Or we. Or we reward everyone. And so I thought it was a kind of an interesting story and it was the one that really grabbed the headlines. I suppose more than anything else. I was very glad to hear though and see that the RTE picked up on a story. Of the changes to the set allocation hours. And after the blow of seeing the IPN ganging up on principals despite supposedly representing them and saying, gosh, there was no change to the support hours, the sport education hours. Or the set of vacation hours. And that we were all wrong. It was nice to see that the IMCO have backed their members in this case. At the Congress and hopefully we will be seeing some changes. I do know, as I am recording this. There should have been an Heraclitus committee meeting where this was raised. And I do know there's still talk of us even at today in the newspapers. There is talk about at the set allocation hours. And the disaster. So I'm really was really happy to see that this came up and I NTO Congress was passed by members I think at the IPP and should be fairly embarrassed by what they did to their own members. If those. There can't remember, this was the joint communication with the NPC. And AP NAPT. I have no idea why the NAPD were involved in this, in the first place. Where they denied there was any devilment going on with the sash allocation hours. And interestingly enough, devilment since then has happened because now the department of education. Despite, I know there's nothing to see here at all. They've decided to shift the goalposts yet again, and this week they only an answer. Oh yes no. There's no problems here at all. In fact, an a hundred schools should know this. Basically children with complex needs are measured in two ways. Firstly by literacy and numeracy scores. So those who fall down and interested in reading scores, if they've complex needs will be allocated hours and those, and with complex needs will be exempt from doing the standardized tests. So they would get the maximum level of support. Now. I wish someone had told school says because I know schools around the country. If they've children with any needs complex or otherwise. And it comes to the standardized test. They will do whatever they can to help that child do those standardized tests, because it's only right that they have the opportunity to do these standardized tests, whether you like standardized tests or not And often these children find it very difficult to cope with the pressure or The difficulty of doing the tasks a lot of children with maybe anxiety or maybe with a diagnosis of autism or something that just makes it really difficult for them to be in this kind of pressurized system. A lot of the time they'll go with their support teacher and do the test on their own. Which will you know, or in a nicer atmosphere for them. All this is going to do is you're going to see a massive rise in exemptions from these standardized tests. Rightly because this is the only way children with complex needs are going to be able to get the supports. They. Are entitled to. And it's a shoddy from the department of education to shift the goalposts yet again. I just wish. It will be covered. And I know there's been politicians, wonderful politicians out there who are bringing this up. People like Gary Gannon from the social camera cuts on every time he speaks or about this, they took department of education to have these. The soundbites kind of sentences, which sound like not, there's nothing to see here and they keep shifting things around. It's really disappointing. As I said, so very glad to see the ITO backing their members, backing teachers in their calls on this. Unlike as I say other organizations like the IPN. However, the Irish examiner, sorry, I'm open that up. The also bought into this and Katrina golden, a wonderful principal owned boot own Bowie. Oh God, I can never pronounce her at her school that when we get educate together has also talked about the special education allocation model. And again a lot of criticism, really good article that really well called out for on glad to see the Irish examiner as always covering at that. Sorry. In fact, I would say the Irish examiner, if you're going to subscribe to a newspaper, I have to say of all the newspapers out there They really do treat teachers very well. And they're a little bit more eclectic. And what they cover. In fact, when it came to the int O Congress whereas most of the newspapers went for this story. As I thought I brought up the. Archie's on rewind for a different angle and actually listed things that were actually on the agenda that actually affected teachers rather than, click baity type thing. It I must say the Irish examiner really well worth. Having a look at. But the big story, and this was the one I was really surprised because it was my big story. This is the one that I was interested in coming to the IMCO Congress. It was basically a motion that went in under, there was a lot of work that's gone into this motion, which was the beginnings of conversations to remove the stranglehold that the religious bodies have over the primary education system, particularly the Catholic church. And Emotion did go through where the only two are going to survey their members on really on the role of religion. I'm religious control in schools. But also the need for the religious certificates that most teachers have to have. If they want to work in an Irish primary school. Many people don't realize how recent Religious certificate is I qualified in 2002. And there was no need for a religious certificate to get a job. I got my first job. In a Catholic school as most of and I was never asked for this religious certificate, it came in around 2005. And I remember it because I remember I had come out Kamash to my principal about. Not being Catholic. And this certificate was being bandied about as an optional kind of thing at the time. And she asked me, would I consider doing it? And I think when she said, when would I consider doing it that wasn't really a request. But I refuse to do it. However, by 2006, maybe 2007, it was a requirement for any. Teacher wanting to work in a Catholic school to have one and no other religious buddy or no other patron buddy has this requirement. And I feel very strongly that patron buddies shouldn't insist on a quite under patrons qualification. And I think the reason I don't want any patron buddy to do it is because if I don't want the Catholic church. I don't think anyone else. As you just not fair to expect something of one patron body. Like we do at the moment in terms of enrollments and not expected from minority bodies either. That's how I feel quite strongly about it. But D ready to certificate essentially teaches you how to pass on the word of God. And then I'm just quoting to the children and your skill, you how to become a missionary, how to become an evangelist. I know these words are of motive and people don't like hearing them, but that's what you're supposed to do. As a teacher in a Catholic school, you are supposed to impart the word of God onto the children, pass on the faith. And, most teachers don't really consider themselves as missionaries. And Avi Malali I think is the name of the, or Mulcahy was the main researcher around us where she surveyed Teacher trainee teachers in 2021. 99% of them had made their sacraments, but only 59% of the now with adults actually consider themselves Catholic and more of them. Actually believed in energy than they did in God, which is really weird. But they also believe in spirits or they believe in God and actually. Quite a few of them believed in magic which are thought was interesting. And why that will be part of the question air altogether. Anyhow. Moving back to this int emotion that passed. It was surprising to me, number one, that it, not that it passed particularly but it was surprising to me how it actually was covered in the two main media outlets, which is the RTE on the Irish times. And it was really gratifying for me to see that. And I had some thoughts on that. On those motions that you can read on my medium blog. Two thoughts, really? That was the first one is thoughts on the motions on, secondly, why you, the teachers that spoke on that religion motion are heroes because many of you might not realize that. When you speak at Congress or when you speak out in public at all about religion in schools. Particularly, if you are critical of it. You run a risk of breaking a law. Which is section 37 of the employment equality act, which allows an institution to discipline you for what they consider undermining the ethos of the school. Now what undermining the ethos means. Is very unclear and we don't know what it is. But essentially it is, it could mean anything from. I suppose decrying the Catholic church and basically taking, I don't know what you could do to describe. The Catholic church, a lot of people do without realizing it, just something as innocent as going up on the ITO stage and saying that there shouldn't be a need for a religious certificate in education, and we should start questioning the role of religion in schools. Yet many Catholic teachers stood up on that podium and called for just dash Catholic teachers working in Catholic schools run the risk of basically. Being disciplined, being passed over for promotion. Maybe not being able to get a job in another school in the future, because I can't imagine the conflict church firing a teacher for this because the press will be, so we'll be mad. In fact, it's one of those as I call it, the don't ask don't tell system that we have in Catholic schools. Because we don't know where the goalposts are. it's very difficult to know what to do. So people say nothing. The only teacher that we know of in our thought was disciplined. For basically undermining the section 37 was Connor Braedon, who I interviewed on the podcast a few years ago. But practicing yoga could actually if you really wanted to do. Could be considered undermine the ethos. And I've linked in the article here to why that could be it might sound strange to you. The teachers that spoke up the ITO Congress are unlikely to be fired for speaking out. But depending on their school, they might find that they might be passed over for a position of responsibility. They might find themselves not being allocated their choice of class. They might find themselves being left on their own. If a difficult situation arise in their classroom, they might find themselves overlooked. If they apply for a position in another school, they might even get a private part in the back from their principal, Berkeley. Before being slapped on the wrist and told to keep their head down. But in most cases I have to concede nothing would really happen. Unfortunately, none of those speakers knew or know what the reaction will be for their calls to remove the religious certificates. And some may never know. However they did take the risk. And to be honest, what I can say is I am grateful for them. I think for me, the int or Congress was quite interesting. I never go, I have very little faith. In anything really happening from the union, but I will say that the call for the religious certificate to be removed and the survey to talk to teachers about the role of religion in schools has gotten me a little bit excited and I will admit it may bring me back to int your meetings. This was the first time I suppose I've been involved. Eh, very indirectly, maybe, but certainly on the periphery of emotion, going through to the floor and seeing a past. And it showed me that in some ways there is a little bit of democracy left in the ITO. I have called it and accused it of being a theocracy. But this is a time where I think this is emotion. To be honest. I don't know if the weather the ITO could do without us. Or not however. The jury's out, maybe this time next year, let's see where we stand. As I say, I'm cynical by nature. But I have to say I have a little buzz of excitement. And maybe it's a bit of gratitude for those Catholic primary school teachers and The teachers who aren't Catholic and working in a Catholic primary schools who were taking probably a higher risk. I'm really grateful to them and I really appreciate what they've done. I'm, me personally, but for people like me coming into the system. Those, there's absolutely no way I would be able to work in a, in most primary schools due to just an accident of birth. I just happens not to be born Catholic in Ireland.

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Of course, Norma Foley was a guest at the Congress and she used her time to speak to the delegates about smartphones. Pretty much, that was the main thing she wanted to talk about. The only thing that the media wants to talk about, because I'm giving you a random example there from Doni go live, which is a local paper and Donegal. Where she talked about primary school children, not needing smartphones. I mean, she's doing a great job of this big battle against smartphones without actually doing anything about it. For example, I know that if I was a child and I wanted to buy cigarettes or I wanted to buy alcohol, there's a law against that. So I'm sure it's not too difficult to bring in a law to stop you from possessing a smartphone. If you are under a certain age. Yeah, she doesn't seem to be able to do that, but that's for another day If you are interested in good insight as to the smartphone, a debate on young children. The New York times came with an article about screens being everywhere in schools, but do they actually help kids learn? So. Let's move away from the Congress really good event. I think, and it sort of gave me a little bit of hope, as I say. For the education system and maybe for the union and maybe for democracy, I suppose the answers will come in time. I'm moving on to, and I probably won't spend a huge amount of time on this, but probably warrants a lot more time. So I probably will come back to it. I didn't do. A podcast and about gender identity and education around gender identity. On the podcast, it was called we need to talk about gender. And it's an issue that I've been avoiding speaking about for quite some time. It's because of my lack of knowledge, I guess. and I don't want to, Talk in a way about an issue where I don't really know enough about it to have any expert view, and maybe it's something I might interview people about. In the future who would have more expertise rather than just having an opinion on matters. Both in the UK, a report came out from Hillary costs generally around I suppose, puberty blockers for under eighteens and so on. And the report essentially was saying, Children have been let down on gender care based on weak evidence for the support. There seems to be lots of question marks. Around providing children with care on gender. And this report is being hailed by those who are who are, I suppose, what I would call gender critical. And I'm using, going to be using a lot of. Quotation marks in here who would consider education or talking about gender, where the idea of the a dash gender and sex are not the same thing as gender ideology. And again for those of you who are not watching on our listing, I'm using a lot of quotation marks here because I just don't, I don't want to say the wrong thing on, I don't want to offend anyone or I'm saying this I'm just essentially talking about not what I believe, but what people are saying. And then there's obviously people on the other side of us who are very critical of this cost report saying it's set based on. On sound data and so on and so forth and really. Where I do know I am standing on this issue. Is something is really make me feel very uncomfortable. And it is. This correlation that some people are making. Between religious education in schools. And gender education in schools That. The, when really? Because we're talking about. You know, About questioning religion in schools and, and the viability of religious faith formation or indoctrination or whatever you might call it. And I'm using the word indoctrination very deliberately here. That they're conflating that if we lose, if we stop doing religious faith formation in schools, it will produce a void that will be replaced. And in inverted commas with gender ideology or a gender indoctrination. And you know, this is the bit where I do have some expertise. I guess and it's really, really something that I'm feeling very strongly about, and I'm really annoyed about. Because when we were reporting. On the IMCO Congress. And that teachers are now going to be surveyed around gender and the, and the lack of the need for a religious certificate and so on. That in anything to do with religion and schools, but what about the religion of gender ideology? It seems to be this response and this idea that they're there. They're in fairing. That if we replace. Religion. They're effectively, we're going to place a religion with gender. Identity stuff. And I think it's it's crude. And it's. It's nonsensical. And it's and I needed to, and I really wants to put my thoughts together on it. So I did. And I it's on my medium blog. Why we must be careful not to correlate gender identity with religious education. It's a long read about 10 minutes read, according to medium there. And it goes on basically to you know Tony talks about the ITO thing, and then it it talks about it gives some tweets. And an example I gave is from collect call for who's a lecturer in CTU, someone I know from outside of the education system, someone I like. And I've spoken to outside of Twitter and so on around gender identity. I mean, I have spoken to her about this because I always believe that when you don't know something or when you don't know a lot about something, you should really listen to everybody and even provocateurs. And I mean, I. Apparently some people consider me to be provocative and to be a biggest or whatever. And. I'm not, I don't think I am. And clash is often called a biggest as well. And I don't think she is either. But I am, I am cross and disappointed by. The fact that she's starting to, that she's using a line and I've seen now in a number of occasions and it's not just her, I'm not picking on her particularly, but people like her. Saying that will teachers, if they're not doing it, if religion is removed from schools, will teachers, all of a sudden be having to do workshops in gender identity, which is the new religion. And it's, it's very annoying because. I know she's not. A stupid person. I know she isn't. She's a really nice person. I see. You know, you can say, oh look, religion is just an ideology. Well, so is this gender thing? So they're the same thing. And therefore gender identity is a religion now. it's a way for people who are religious. Who are trying to defend religion and schools are now going to are saying, oh, wow. Now we can have well, if we don't have religion in schools, we'll just replace it with this religion of gender ideology. Again, inverted commas. I keep having to say in virtual commas, And, and there's no, there's no link. There's just no link whatsoever between the decline of religion. If it ever happens. And then the rise in gender. I don't know if that was the case. I mean, the, the religion has been declining in society from years since the 1970s in Ireland. And this whole conversation around gender and so on. It's very recent it's in the last five or six years or so. I mean, like in mainstream, I know it's been, it's been going on for many, many years, but, but certainly in an Irish context, in the education system, it's really on the last five years where we're talking about gender now. I think It's really unfair to start trying to link. Things where links don't exist. We have a new curriculum coming up. But it's as true to say the gender identity education. We'll replace religion. In fact it's less true. It's more true to say. That modern foreign languages are going to replace religious education because that's actually what's happening. We're reducing religion, religious instruction. But by a half an hour, a week. In Irish primary schools. And it's being replaced with a whole raft of other subjects. One of them is stem, which will include technology and engineering, which weren't there before welding is going to be another thing which does not mean gender identity. Wellbeing is wellbeing. So again, lot of all this sort of stuff, and it's, it's, it's really frustrating to see that. That's every time I see a religion post. Now, every time I see something about religion in schools now, I can at least a percentage of those replies we'll talk about, well, I hope it's not going to be replaced by that gender stuff. Or so on. And. It's really. I mean, it's kind of ridiculous now in the article. I talk about why that happens and I can see why I'm not stupid either. You know, I can see why these have links. Are being brought in there's a program called busy bodies. If you're and in busy bodies, there's a page. Which discusses gender identity. And at the booklet is for parents. And for adolescents, it's not for primary schools, primary schools use busy bodies, but they have a PDST version of that, a workbook, and it doesn't mention gender identity at all. I provided links in the medium blog about that. there was a video that was produced by the IMCO, which talked about a teacher talking to their class about a social. Transition. And this has caused huge consternation with some of these gender critics. But the thing is. Gender is not correct it's not there, and this link with religion. It's just really, really annoying because it isn't linked. We are reading. I am been, I suppose it annoys me so much just because. I guess we know that. Religious control of schools is not ideal. No one would disagree with this. I mean, if it really, I mean, in fact, we, we all know that now that most people. You know, up until a couple of years ago. Certainly if you asked most people. Should we should, should we, it should churches control schools. They would say no. You know, most people would say no. The thing is, I don't think that's happening. As much anymore. In fact, a guy. Tweeted, ask it basically saying sure. Now you have as a provocative and of tweets. I don't know if it's a good way of measuring if budget. I think he was expecting different results. But most people reply to his tweet said that they would prefer to have the Catholic church. In control of schools, then there's gender ideology. Now he didn't ask, he didn't mention gender or anything like that, but this is the thing it's been linked to so much that it's becoming nearly fat. And for me, it's just a complete moral panic. That they think a decline in religion will all of a sudden bring in this gender stuff. Gender ideology, gender identity, education, things like that. And there's absolutely no reason. And, you know, it reminds me of the moral panic that happens when RSC was threatened to be updated from the 1999 or 1997. Curriculum as it was, and it's been blocked, but at every course, and what was happening was there were people out there who were basically saying that teachers were going to be teaching children, how to masturbate from the age of four. and it just, I mean, there was even went to the point where there is a fact check done by the journalists. They do fact checking kind of things. It's mot it's marred and. You see the thing about this is the tone of the gender critical people is they're using really, really interesting emotive language. They're calling it like gender ideology even in itself is. It's dismissive and often I don't only see them using that. But they're using terms like indoctrination, you know, you, you, there was a guy as a lot of these guys in their green hoodies. I think of a photo of one of them here. There is one. It's one of those protesters outside the libraries. Who had these green hoodie saying education, not indoctrination. I found humorous considering a 96% of schools, indoctrination of religion. Actually happened that indoctrination is what happens, whereas a there's none of the sorts of things that they think are happening are happening in schools. Both. Other words like what was saying like indoctrination colonization has been used cults agendas. And things like that. And I was even looking through she, you know, she talked about the colonization of the Irish curriculum, where she talks about gender identity education coming in and starts off with them center. Ireland is no stranger to colonization. And basically we are now the implantation of gender identity theory is happening throughout the education system. And she gave very, very loose examples, which, which aren't actually part of the. The curriculum itself. At all. Blogs are opinion pieces, and you can use kind of emotive loose language. And it doesn't really bother me too much, but it's interesting. You know, the kind of language that's being used by people. And you know, I, I don't have a problem with that. I mean, she does write actual factual stuff, research-based stuff. You know, people are complex, you know, I know people listen to this. Podcast. They agree with some of the things I say, and they don't agree at all with a lot of stuff. I don't think that's everyone. You. This is one of the problems particularly in this gender debate is. You're either on one side or the other side and their sides were polarizing, And I think we need. You know, as I think I said this in my podcast thing we need to be doing is talking to each other and speaking about this. And I'm asking really good questions of each other. Instead of like telling each other that. You know, everyone is telling each other. they're wrong under the right wing or their loot, Looney laughter and all the rest of it. And it doesn't help. The conversation at all. It doesn't. And, and the fact that, you know, even me saying that sentence is for even saying, there should be a conversation I could be canceled for want of a better word. I'm not, I'm not a Fe enough, which I'm what I'm speaking about in this particular case is. W why would we. Use something on linked. For an argument.

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I mean for me. It's so frustrating. To see, as a minority for that are fighting for the last 20 years or so. For people who don't practice. One or two particular religions being isolated from the education system. That our struggle. Is being used. For, purposes. Whether they're well-meaning or not. But completely on linked so that they are happy. To throw minoritized people under a boss. And so that their point of view. Is listen to even though it has nothing to do with it. So they're essentially linking. The demise of religion In society or in schools? Two. The idea that gender and identity education would take its place. And it's really. Ah, I suppose that's what upsets me so much about it. And, I said this art, I won't go through the article too much because I'm well, over time. At the stage, but I hope you'll read it. And see what you think academic. Outrage bait. And I think that's a fair thing. I talk a little bit about, a little more about it. And I guess, for me, the conclusion I come to really in a way. Is that the people that were using. I suppose in a way. When a, I'm sorry to use now analogies. I think we don't even have to go very much into the past. I can go into today. Even when it comes to migration, you've got people who are marginalized from society. Economically and they see migrants been given what they perceive migrants, be given houses for free, and they're getting nothing and so on. So what they do is they protest the migrants and they attack migrants. And they dehumanize the migrants and so on. This is the same sort of stuff that you're picking on the weakest while the people in charge get away Scot free. And this is what it looks at. And you think for the short-term win, that this will be a complete win, but the problem with these kinds of things is it feeds in. To this really, I think there is a huge. Risk. When the people who are buying into. Fear mongering and moral panic to further their own political cases. And we will see the people, the parties that are talking. About gender ideology. Very few of them would be, parties that you would like to see governing this country because of their other views. And some of those other views. May fall foul of your views. So you might feel strongly. About gender. Identity education. You may not like that. Quite a number of the parties. That are supporting this. Would like to take away the right to abortion for women, for example. And they would all share that. Some of them would have. Very anti migrant stance. Some of them would want to be leaving the EU, for example. What would Ireland look like in a case like that? I've watched some of the, some of these. Suppose the journalists. Coming along to protests. I watched one of them in Cardo. And as I said, there was an amusing part where he had to cross. The rainbow crossing that's in Cardo town, the guy who was doing the filming. And as he was crossing the road, he was giving out about the universities in the town that have obviously caused this. Do people like that who get into power, start shutting down universities, or. Firing people who don't in universities, who don't go along with the stances. you see where I'm getting out here I'm really worried when. people who are oppressed start oppressing other oppressed people. So the perception of being a pro press, because some people would disagree and that either parties are oppressed, but we're certainly not empower. And I guess, we only know too well, what happens in that kind of regard? I think that's all I'll say about gender identity education for the moment I wanted to come back to this and it probably will come back to it now. Particularly as it's now treading on. I suppose an area I feel very strongly about. Not that I, or that I have, I actually have knowledge about. It's probably not fair that I don't. All I care about. If I have a child in my school who is experiencing gender identity issues. My job is to help that child. I don't care about anything else I just want to do. What's right. I have for that child and I'm learning all the time. What that looks like. And I find a really unhelpful. The kind of rhetoric that's going around and. Anyway, I suppose I'll say no more on the issue because. As I said I'm well over time and I want to move on to the final story. There was an announcement late last week. About the junior cycle, free school book scheme, but no announcement about the primary book scheme. Now as I'm not that pushed about the actual scheme itself. I don't think it aids education particularly, but I know it's a vote grabber. But the thing is, once it's in, it's expected, then that'll be in forever. And that if it is taken out, I think parents would be very aggrieved that they then again, have to, they then will have to spend. Money or they'd be looking at why didn't you, why did you spend all the money in one go, if they take it away, like my belief, to be honest with you, and I maybe I'll be proved wrong by the time the podcast comes out. And this is based on this tweet I received. I when I saw this somebody. Who's tweaked their rosy Doyle. A review of the guidelines for year two is currently underway of the school book scheme for primary level. The specifics of what is covered under this scheme will be sad. Housing detail. I know they used to be in due course. My fear is they're going to pay the 96 Euro per child is going to be caught. To something, and I don't know what the something will be and it's already. April mid April. And my fear is it's going to be cut all together and they're going to say, oh no, we never said it was going to be paid every year. It's every few years on schools would have been advised, but she weren't basically, we were told this was going to be an annual thing. It was going to stop parents, having to dig into their pockets. Most schools have a fee and not a fee every year, but they have a money every year with ask children, buy books, but the money doesn't change very often. And I think schools would have probably offset that 96 year old for whatever money. They were charging in the first place. Most school books are very expensive these days. Like your maths book is over 20 Euro. This is one book. And so people might be saying, oh sure, 96 euro's loads. But when you take it into context, your maths book is about 22, 23 Euro. And probably a little bit more now. So it isn't a lot of money. But now the fear is they're not going to give it. And even if they caught it a little bit, parents were after spending maybe after not having to pay for school books this year. We'll be expecting not to pay it ever again because they themselves are promised. That the scheme will be going ahead. And they, the department of education, spin doctors are very clever people, as we know, and they'll say, oh no. This year it's primaries it's primary schools next year. It's. Junior cycle, the following year, it will be senior cycle. And then we go back again to junior to, so it will be on a three-year rota basis. That wasn't what was agreed at the starch. And In fact, I remember language like that. I don't know, my fear really is that we're in for a cost. And hopefully by the time this podcast comes out I will be proved wrong, but I have a very bad feeling that I won't be. Ultimately that is all I'm saying on those three stories. I have lots and lots of other stories available too, on my newsletter. Where I picked a number of stories from Ireland and across the world. About education, including some tips for your classroom. One thing that I thought was really nice was our brain breaks for your classroom might be of use to you as well as that. I have some mini CPD in every newsletter. this time I'm looking at AI again and how I built the unit of work generators. Some of you may have been working on that in fact, a lot of you seem to have seen it because I had over 400. uses of it. In the space of 48 hours. Nearly bankrupted me. The other thing that's in the newsletter is some tweets that I've that'd been posted by people. Ah, who I admire very greatly and some commentary on those as well. And so really, if you are interested, please go to, and you can forget that news that are straight into your inbox. And we'll tell you, as soon as. The next podcast is out some, Hey. So Matt CPD on a few extra bits and bobs bonus material. But that's it for me for this week. Thanks so much. For listening or watching. And I'll be back to you in a couple of weeks time, all the very best bye-bye.

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