Friday, 1 February 2008

Where's Catriona's plan for Northern Ireland's schools? Did the dog eat it?

It is scarcely believable that Northern Ireland’s alleged Education Minister plans to scrap selection in 2008 but as yet has failed to provide any substantive detail on how she intends to replace the existing system. Not only that, but Catriona Ruane has embarked, like a naughty schoolgirl who has not done her homework, on a course of evasion, deception and avoidance.

Having initially indicated that selection would now take place at age 14, it now appears that the minister does not want selection at any age. She is leaving a trail of confusion and anger in her wake and her only response is to run away from questions and her responsibilities as a supposedly accountable government minister.

Ruane refused to answer questions from the Assembly’s education committee, eventually granted the committee a brief meeting, engaged in a great deal of flannel and time wasting and then ran away pleading a prior engagement. This is the importance accorded by Ruane to the future shape of schooling in Northern Ireland.


beano said...

Please, don't use the phrases "Caitriona Ruane" and "naughty schoolgirl" in the same sentence in future. I'm going to have to skip dinner :(

Dinamo said...

Perhaps there should be academic selection for Ministers of Education?

Dinamo said...

The MLAs are very much a mixed ability class and it was always predictable that many of them would flounder when executive powers were devolved even in an above average class size of 108 and with an experienced and skilful civil service to advise them. The fine suits and makeovers cannot disguise a signal lack of ability in certain quarters and how the cosy club deals with a failing minister is unchartered territory.
For the likes of Ms Ruane the step from single issue street agitation and holding placards in the middle of the road to consideration of complex issues in a government ministry is some considerable distance too far.