Education - the discussion begins
New Education Minister Peter Weir’s first major act was to roll back on long-standing departmental policy over transfer tests.
Primary schools in Northern Ireland are now free to get their pupils ready for the AQE and GL exams, a reversal of the ban on class-time preparation, put in place by Sinn Fein ministers following the 2008 abolition of the 11-plus.
Selection as an issue has never gone away in Northern Ireland, and is back on the table in the rest of the UK – with Prime Minister Theresa May discussing the reintroducation of grammar schools, to some extent, in England.
The merit of selection is just one topic in an array of issues that are ripe for discussion – especially as Northern Ireland tries to find its feet in economically straitened times.
Scope is set for series of articles on a wide range of education issues. We want to look at everything: from the early years to adult learning; to look at what comprises best practice, and why; address achievement across all ages and communities, and ask what we should – and shouldn’t do – to tackle it; examine the social role of schools, colleges and universities; and even ask why, fundamentally, we teach our citizens – as preparation for the pursuit of work, or as so much more?
We will write, in depth, about all these issues are more. Accordingly, we are asking for ideas and input from our readers, and anyone else, about the role and nature of education in society.
If you have any suggestions or something interesting to say, please email [email protected]
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