Sunday 18 February 2018

Please don't slam the door in my face, ASTI

As a second-level student in Ireland, the threat of industrial action by teachers will only affect me, the student.

The teachers will get their pay and the rest of Ireland will carry on as usual.

As a fifth-year student, starting the Leaving Certificate programme, I've seen more than ever how important teachers are and how missing even one day in the class has a big impact on your study.

We students are not merely assets or services that can be used in strike action. Unlike buses and trains, we are citizens of this State who have the right to an education.

I do understand that the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI) has a point: in an economy where we are all being asked to do more, it can be hard sometimes.

If the ASTI really had me and other students at heart, then it would find another way of getting their point across, other than sacrificing my education.

You may think I have no clue what it's like to pay bills and live on a wage/salary. But do know this; in less than two years I will have to sit the Leaving Certificate, an exam that will either open a door to college and determine the rest of my life, or slam it in my face.

As a student, I would ask the ASTI not to slam the door in my face and disrupt my education for their purposes.

Robert O'Donnell is Education Officer, Irish Second-Level Students Union (ISSU).

Irish Independent

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