TANAISTE Joan Burton took a swipe at Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald's private school education during a heated debate on the teacher strike.
Ms McDonald accused the Government of “stubbornly” refusing to listen to teachers as 27,000 secondary school teachers went on strike today for the second time in two months.
The industrial action is over the Government’s proposed reforms of the Junior Cert, which would see teachers assess their own students.
“The disagreement resolves around your Government's insistence that teachers mark and grade their own students,” Ms McDonald said
Ms Burton hit back at the Sinn Fein TD by reminding her she attended a fee paying school.
Ms McDonald attended Notre Dame secondary school in the affluent Churchtown area of South Dublin.
“I go into very well-off schools, fee paying schools, you’d be familiar with those,” Ms Burton said.
The Tánaiste added that she hoped the reforms of the Junior Cert would see more students in lower income areas progress to the leaving cert.
Ms Burton said many children in disadvantaged areas drop out of school because the current curriculum does not meet their needs.
She urged the unions to “pause and think again” before refusing to accept the proposed reforms of the Junior Cert.