Ruane backs the Bain report

Education Minister, Catriona Ruane, has backed the recommendations of the Bain report. She rejected the categorisation of Bain as “school closures” instead arguing it sets out a “new vision for education”.

  • Interesting stuff particularly her aim to consider the introduction of some form of Primary School education in foreign languages to help address the dramatic increase in immigration (particularly from Eastern Europe).

    I would greatly welcome this as The North of Ireland is struggling in many areas in providing sufficient facilities and services for the tens of thousands of EC workers who have come here in the past few years.

  • Cruimh

    “the introduction of some form of Primary School education in foreign languages”

    Back-door Irish language lessons ? 😉

    “The North of Ireland is struggling in many areas in providing sufficient facilities and services for the tens of thousands of EC workers who have come here in the past few years.”

    Tens of thousands have left the gaeltachts to come to NI in the past few years ?

  • steve48

    Given that we still have children leaving school who cannot read and write and that the entire post primary transfer system is ready to implode into multiple school tests she has more important things to be getting on with.

  • Margot

    Northern Ireland is part of Ireland and the Irish spoken there is the purest of the pure so why shouldn’t it be taught?

  • Chris Donnelly

    The Bain recommendations are more than just school closures, but it is only natural for people to focus on the most dramatic consequence of their implementation.

    Even a cursory glance at the school populations indicate the need for some drastic action, particularly (though not exclusively) within the controlled sector, which has naturally exercised the minds of quite a few unionist politicians to date on the Assembly’s Education Committee.

    Part of the problem involves the fact that, within that sector, the tough decisions have simply been avoided for far too long. At least within the Maintained sector, the CCMS was in a position to strategically plot a course of action which anticipated the demographic decline and responded with closures and amalgamations- and I’m speaking from experience, as my own school is on course to be amalgamated with two other schools in the near future.

  • Diluted Orange

    It is actually quite refreshing for once to hear a Sinn Fein Minister make some positive, intelligent and progressive comments about the future of education in Northern Ireland. I’m especially pleased to see that Catriona Ruane seems to see integration between Protestant and Catholic school children as the way forward.

    It’s about time our kids were educated in the same environment. How else will segregation and inherent sectarianism become a thing of the past if children from both persuasions continue to not even be able to meet and grow up with people from different backgrounds to them?

  • George UU

    but the question remains, is our children learning?

  • willis

    Steve48

    She had plenty to say on literacy/numeracy

    “She believes a key to tackling the problem is making courses relevant and more exciting to children.

    “We have a serious problem in our society,” Ms Ruane said.

    “4,000 of our children are leaving after 12 years of compulsory education with poor literacy and numeracy skills.

    “Is that the children`s fault? No.

    “If we are blaming the children, we are blaming the wrong people. It is the system`s fault and we need to do something about that.

    “Let`s break the cycle of disadvantage of those 4,000 young people. If we don`t break that cycle we are going to be spending more on them in later years.

    “So we need a strategy with a targeted approach in the areas of greatest disadvantage in areas like the Shankill, Rathcoole, the Falls, Twinbrook, Derry, Strabane, Newry and Downpatrick.

    “If we invest money now in early years in areas of serious disadvantage, we can change society. That is why – and I`m sounding like a broken record on this – on the issue of transfer, the whole of society needs to look at this debate because the decisions we take affect the whole of society.”

    And right noises about working with the DUP

    “Ms Ruane agrees with the Economy Minister Nigel Dodds that more needs to be done to encourage young people, especially girls, to study science subjects and mathematics.

    “We have to make it more relevant,” she said.”

  • interested

    Fair enough – let her be judged on merit. However, will she be applying the enrolment criteria used to close controlled/maintained schools to Irish medium schools?

    That would be the real test!

  • willis

    Here is a doorstop of a report to consider.

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,,2100041,00.html

    http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Society/documents/2007/06/11/MCS2.pdf

    Containing this unusual observation

    “Scottish children were three months ahead of the UK average in language development and two months ahead in “school readiness”.

    Mothers in Scotland were more likely than those in the three other countries to have jobs and set clear rules governing the child’s behaviour. Similarly, Scottish fathers were more likely to read to their children, perhaps assisting early years development.”