Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Listen to teachers or another crisis looms

'Teachers do a vital job, and they should feel valued for their role in shaping their pupils' future' (stock photo)
'Teachers do a vital job, and they should feel valued for their role in shaping their pupils' future' (stock photo)

Editor's Viewpoint

The latest revelations from education are that teachers may go on strike unless the authorities honour a pay deal agreed as long ago as June this year.

Justin Campbell, from the teachers' union NASUWT, warned of the growing frustration among members and the reality that they may strike if the already-agreed funding is not released ahead of annual conferences next year.

He said: "We don't have a deadline in mind, but I'd say that we are very quickly reaching a crisis point."

This is the kind of blunt language the education authorities should heed in order to head off yet another crisis.

This newspaper also reported yesterday that Dr Graham Gault, the principal of Maghaberry Primary School, said his job had become "impossible" due to a lack of funds.

Dr Gault's words have added weight because he is the vice-president of the National Association of Head Teachers.

Added to all of this, we have a report in today's newspaper about a warning from the Department of Education of pressure in post-primary places in some areas next year.

Sign In

By almost every criteria, our schools system is under stress, and this has implications for teachers, parents and children.

Already there are stories of cutbacks and of parents and grandparents having to fund some school activities from their own pockets.

The future of our society depends on the future of our children, and the omens are not good when we have to limp along with an education system which is obviously not fit for purpose.

Teachers do a vital job, and they should feel valued for their role in shaping their pupils' future.

They should also have the resources they need to do their jobs properly.

The threat of a teachers' strike is worrying, to add already to the concerns about the current strike in the health sector, which adds to the fears that our NHS is in virtual meltdown.

Sadly, it is not just our education and health systems which are not working properly. So too is our political system, which for too long has been marooned in the twilight of party political deadlock.

From today, we will get a clearer picture of how the country has voted, but come what may, there is an urgent need for talks to begin on Monday to restore Stormont power-sharing.

There is much urgent business to be done, so let's get on with it.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph