Sunday 11 December 2016

'Strikes a major disruption to my two sons'

Ryan Nugent

Published 26/10/2016 | 02:30

Rebecca Hemeryck with her sons Sam (15), who is studying for his Junior Cert, and Tom (18), who is preparing for his Leaving Cert, at their home in Coolquay, Co Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron
Rebecca Hemeryck with her sons Sam (15), who is studying for his Junior Cert, and Tom (18), who is preparing for his Leaving Cert, at their home in Coolquay, Co Dublin. Photo: Arthur Carron

Teaching strikes will ramp up pressure on students to complete Leaving Cert projects in even less time, according to a mother of two boys undertaking State exams.

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Rebecca Hemeryck from Coolquay, Co Dublin, said her son Tom has lost between two and three designated classes to complete a Design and Communications Graphics (DCG) project which is due by Christmas, because of strikes by ASTI members.

Tom (18), along with his brother Sam (15), are studying at Ashbourne Community College, in Leaving Cert and Junior Cert years respectively.

Ms Hemeryck said the whole thing is a major disruption to the school year, which students may not notice at first but will become more apparent later on in the year.

"If you look at my sons in both Junior and Leaving Certs, they have to have stuff handed up by Christmas and my older son's DCG project is done on two of the days the strike will be on," Rebecca said.

"That's two days where he should be working on a project to hand up for his Leaving Cert, that's pressure on him and the other children who are in the same situation as he's in. That really has me annoyed to be honest with you.

"The first day of striking seems to them like a break or day off school, but I had to explain to them that it's not just one day, it's seven days before Christmas that they could miss with the strike," she added.

Tomorrow will be the first day of strike action, though the remaining strike days may become void, with ASTI members threatening to withdraw from supervision and substitute work in a vote on November 7, leaving the prospect of the majority of schools remaining closed after the mid-term break.

Pupils will also be missing out on after-school study groups that have already been paid for in advance by parents, while many parents will have to take time off work in order to accommodate the strike action.

Despite having sympathy with the teachers, Rebecca said the whole ordeal is frustrating for everyone.

"If you think about it, when the schools are closed they can't do their homework and they can't do their after-school study class, and parents are paying for that," she added.

Irish Independent

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