Saturday 22 July 2017

A question of balance

EDUCATION Minister Mary Hanafin will today announce a forum to address the vexed question of primary school governance. The move could not have been more timely, coming as it does in the week of the teachers' conferences and on the cusp of what amounts to a revolution in Irish primary education.

Since the inauguration of the system nearly 200 years ago, the schools have been overwhelmingly denominational. They have been controlled by the churches, which in most instances means the Catholic Church. Now they are to undergo a massive shift to multi-denominational education, with all the opportunities and problems that presents.

But few could have expected that the problems would include a confrontation between the Catholic bishops and the teachers who provide religious education as well as instruction in secular subjects.

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