Life Learning

Friday 22 August 2014

Stop covering the teacher union conferences, it only encourages them

Pat Fitzpatrick

Published 28/04/2014 | 02:30

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Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn probably thinks religion belongs exclusively in the home and not in school. Photo: Pat Moore.
Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn probably thinks religion belongs exclusively in the home and not in school. Photo: Pat Moore.

PITY the poor teachers. They feel they have been singled out for special treatment. They're not wrong there. It's not every profession that gets a fortnight off around Easter so they can hassle their boss by megaphone.

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Ruairi Quinn's treatment at the ASTI conference last week means that something has to be done. We can't have this going on every year. The worst bit is the hilarious newspaper coverage, full of puns about detention and difficult examinations for the minister. They are about as funny as your Leaving Cert Oral Irish exam.

The solution to all this is simple. A media blackout. Stop covering the teacher union conferences, it only encourages them. Nobody in their right mind could possibly care what is happening at these conferences. Unless TV3 makes a reality show based around the evening entertainments called When Teachers Go Wild. We'd watch that like Billio.

Other than that, we can struggle by without following the annual teacher conference. Or, as they are better known, Let's All Go Somewhere Lovely and Feel Sorry for Ourselves. The many teachers who stay away from these things will also be glad if they are driven underground. News from the conference is just a distraction when you are trying to plan a months-long summer holiday.

Here's our prediction. If the media stop covering the conferences, the Minister will stop going. If that happens, most of the teachers will stay away because refusing to applaud him was the best bit. That will free them up to do something nice. We hear Lanzarote is lovely this time of year.

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