Wednesday 11 December 2019

Lack of understanding on pilot school model

COLUMNIST David Quinn argued (July 1) that Fianna Fail should not put forward socially progressive policies. Rather, we should model ourselves on the British Conservative Party.

Fianna Fail is committed to parity of esteem and of opportunity for every Irish person.

Micheal Martin supported the Government's plans to financially incentivise parties to run more women for election, because he believes that voters should be able to choose between a variety of candidates.

Mr Quinn also criticised the community national school model piloted by Mary Hanafin in 2008.

Yet in likening Irish community national schools to French public schools, he has displayed an incredible lack of understanding of how the new pilot schools actually work.

French public schools exclude religion to the point of not even letting children wear religious symbols to class.

By contrast, Irish community national schools provide opportunities for children to undergo faith formation at school if that is what their parents desire.

Mr Quinn highlights the fact that the INTO supports the community national school model, but he omits to acknowledge that the pilot projects were also welcomed by Bishop Leo O'Reilly, who is chairman of the Education Commission of the Irish Bishops Conference.

Senator Averil Power

Dublin 2

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