‘Teachers are central to effective, trusted curriculum development’
– new ASTI President
Pay increases must be realistic if they are to counter the untenable rise in the cost of living, the incoming ASTI President Miriam Duggan has stated.
“The fact that inflation rose to 9.1% in June makes significant pay rises a real priority for members who, like the rest of society, are trying to cope with the sustained price increases of energy, fuel, food and other essentials,” said Miriam Duggan, who begins her term as ASTI President on August 1st.
Ms Duggan said that increased funding for education is also central if schools are to meet the challenges ahead.
“The OECD report Education at a Glance 2021 ranks Ireland in last place out of 36 countries for investment in second-level education. One consequence of this is large class sizes which limit student-teacher interaction and lead to increased work intensity and stress for teachers.
At a time when teacher shortages are impacting second-level schools all over the country, it is essential that cost-of-living challenges are addressed and that the outstanding issue of unequal pay for younger teachers is put to bed once and for all.”
Ms Duggan, who is a teacher at Rosmini Community School in Dublin, also said that ensuring the professional voice of teachers is heard on any revisions of Senior Cycle or Leaving Cert is a key objective of her presidency.
“The collective voice of qualified, professional teachers has to be central to any Senior Cycle change process,” she stated.
“It is vital that teachers have confidence that the new Senior Cycle will improve, not harm, our education system,” said Ms Duggan. “Teachers believe that any change ought to be based on rigorous research and appropriate to the Irish education system. If they are to be implementable, any proposed changes must be fully resourced and take account of the workload for teachers and students.”
“Irish second-level education performs very well in international comparisons for both quality of education and student performance. In addition to this, our independent State exams system is trusted as transparent and impartial. The ASTI’s Senior Cycle policies, including our policy of not assessing our own students in state examinations, are designed to protect standards, equity and fairness.”
The ASTI represents over 18,000 second-level teachers.