View Irish language version of this page JOIN US DONATE

“Ban On Teacher Career Breaks Will Do More Harm Than Good” – Nelligan

The Aontú representative for Castletroy and the party Education Spokesperson, Eric Nelligan, has cautioned against the proposed suspension of teacher career breaks as a solution to the severe shortage of teachers and education.

Speaking today, Mr Nelligan, himself a teacher, said ‘’All across Ireland primary school principals have reported difficulties finding substitute teachers. Secondary school representatives have said they are experiencing challenges trying to find qualified teachers in key subjects. The situation is especially critical in urban areas, commuter towns and in Gaelcholaiste. Earlier this week the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, announced that various options are currently being considered by the department to combat staff shortages. One of these options is suspending teacher career breaks.”

Mr Nelligan continued: “Any decision to axe career breaks will actually prompt some teachers to leave the profession altogether. The staffing crisis is not being addressed properly. Instead of tackling the problem, the Department is scapegoating teachers, who want to take time away to spend time with their family, undertake further studies or professional development. The teacher shortage is of no surprise to anybody in the sector, once again the CAO applications for 2022 saw a 9% drop in the number applying for education courses. This has been a trend for a number of years now. Frequent ‘teacher bashing’ in the media, €14k Master’s in Education fees, lower pay, the dual salary scale, superior options abroad, teacher burnout caused by incessant changes in education, red tape and lack of respect have hit the status of the profession hard. Education isn’t an attractive option anymore’’

‘’After 15 years of deteriorating pay and conditions the grand plan to solve the crisis is to cut conditions further. The irony of all this is that the Minister for Education herself is on a break from teaching, availing of the very scheme she is considering cutting. Aontú believe that we need to fast track the registration of teachers coming from abroad, make redeployment easier, cut the PME from two years to one, speed up and reform the vetting for SNAs’’ concluded Mr Nelligan  



By Aontú Press | 13 December, 2022

Related Posts

The Irish political system is radically broken

In Ireland the vast majority of elected representatives put a finger in the air to check which way the political wind is blowing. They have one eye on their leaders – seeking brownie points – and another eye keeping their seat safe. If elected reps shut up and do as they’re told, they are promoted; if they stand up for what they believe in, they are demoted. No wonder we have the political class we have. No wonder one point one billion euro is being buried in a hole under the National Children’s Hospital and that Stormont is in stalemate.

Throughout Ireland, many people are now afraid to say what they feel, many are afraid to respectfully engage on a range of different topics. Many feel there is a new censorship and a new political correctness in Ireland, that opposition to the establishment is being deleted.

Respectful opposition is not the enemy. Respectful opposition is a critical element of a functional democracy. Aontú will have the backbone to stand up, without fear, for you.