Quinn 'frustrated' by teacher protests

The Education Minister Ruairi Quinn says he's "frustrated" with complaints by teachers over the new Junior Cycle.

Mr Quinn says he is still waiting for the teachers unions to spell out what they want in terms of extra resources, time and consultation.

27,000 teachers are protesting outside school gates across the country at lunchtime today in opposition to the new curriculum.

Minister Ruairi Quinn says he can't understand their concerns - he says he's given them plenty of time to adapt.

The lunchtime demonstrations are being staged by members of the ASTI and TUI at hundreds of schools around the country.

The teaching unions say their members have grave concerns over the proposed changes to the Junior Cycle programme.

The Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland and the Teachers Union of Ireland are currently balloting their members on non-cooperation with the new Junior Cycle.

The results will be announced on March 26.

The changes, which include replacing the existing Junior Cert exam with continuous in-school assessment, are due to be phased in from next September.

In a show of his determination - the Education Minister Ruairi Quinn issued notice to schools yesterday that he intends to press ahead with the plan.

The ASTI and the TUI say regular school business is not being disrupted by today's action, with normal supervision arrangements continuing.

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