Would you let this man be in charge of your child's education?

I’ve had a few days to calm myself down about the budget so I could write coherently about the mess that we’ve been put into.  Everyone is incredibly angry and rightly so; in fact, just looking at the picture on the left fills me with rage.  The man on the left is responsible for the education of every person in this country.  I thought Mary Hanafin was terrible…well she was, but this guy is the most useless politician I’ve ever seen.  He didn’t even have the brains to invent some originailty in his budget cuts.  Instead he decided to look back a few years ago when the government spent even less money on education and thought to himself…”hmmm, I’ll simply copy those ideas.”
So now we’re back to having a maximum of two language support teachers which won’t affect small schools but bigger schools will now have to use their General Allocation hours.  That means will children who were struggling have their hours cut for the greater good?
Now we will feel guilty for being sick.  Being a teacher means being with large (even larger now) groups of children.  Children spend their time diseased and, as teachers, we are very likely to pick one or two of these minor ailments up.  These colds, snuffles, sniffles, man-flus (or whatever you want to call them) last about a day or two if the teacher gets a bit of rest.  Now, in order not to let our children suffer, we will either have to come in and make ourselves sicker or go to a doctor (€60 down the drain) to get a piece of paper and a bit of rest in order for a sub to come in.  Never mind the inconvenioence for principals and unemployed qualified teachers who got some sub days.

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Mary Hanafin and the elusive €252m

Teachers have been waiting for quite some time now for Mary Hanafin to announce when she will be releasing €252m for ICT in schools and the INTO annual congress is where she chose to tell us:
“Of course, I am conscious that ICT has become an essential tool for learning. As you know, the NDP sets out an investment of over €250 million for this purpose by 2013. This will address a wide range of needs from hardware and software, to teacher training, curriculum-relevant digital content, maintenance and technical support. I will shortly be publishing a major evaluation by the inspectorate of the impact of ICTs on teaching and learning and also the Report and Recommendations of the Strategy Group which I asked to advise me on priorities for investment in this area. Implementation of the Group’s recommendations will commence immediately sometime this year.”

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