Where is the promised Citizens’ Assembly on Education

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
22 February 2024
  • Citizens’ Assembly on Education must be held before end of this Government’s term
  • Must tackle future of education including role of religion in education
  • Time to provide appropriate sex education

Labour education spokesperson Aodhán Ó Ríordáin has urged Government to prioritise the future of education and commence a Citizens’ Assembly on Education without delay.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“Our education system is the cornerstone of our society, yet it faces multifaceted challenges that demand solutions. This conservative coalition has failed to grasp the nettle on education.

“As it stands, this Government is failing to give every child a fair start in life. The Programme of Government includes a commitment to hosting a Citizens’ Assembly on the Future of Education, so let’s see it happen now.

“The Minister has failed to empower her Department to investigate issues such as reform of the Leaving Cert, and taking religious institutions out of our curriculums.

“For example, the sex education programme of the Catholic Church should not be the dominant RSE programme taught in our state funded primary education system. It’s not a healthy way to teach children about sexuality and it is not appropriate for today’s Ireland. Addressing this requires a root and branch look at our education system.

“There are other structural issues that must be addressed. Take the failure to provide DEIS Plus supports. There are over 100 schools nationwide that need trauma based supports to help school children grow and thrive.

“From addressing educational inequality and ensuring access to quality education for all, to fostering creativity, critical thinking, and digital literacy, we are confronted with a myriad of issues that require thoughtful deliberation and decisive action.

“Let’s build on the success of deliberative democracy to date, ensuring every voice is heard, and build an education system that works for all.”

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