Nicola Anderson: In times of anger, sincerity goes a long way
THE teachers could not have been more inspired if the music from 'Chariots of Fire' blared out from the conference room Tannoy system. For Ruairi Quinn, it had been a gamble but it was one that paid off and as the Education Minister finished his speech he poured himself a glass of water with a hand that trembled in relief.
He hadn't attempted to soft-soap them: things were tough and likely to get tougher -- less money about, less jobs. He was honest, "authentic", as the next speaker, filmmaker David Puttnam -- of 'Chariots of Fire', and 'The Mission' -- urged his audience to be.
The opening day of the ASTI conference in Co Cork yesterday started out with fire and brimstone and the gnashing of teeth. The subject of their ire were "yellow pack teachers", the plight of new teachers, the lack of funding for education and the bad times afoot in general.