29/04/2003

Minister praises NI teachers

Education Minister, Jane Kennedy has praised the dedication of the teachers in Northern Ireland and stressed the importance of ensuring teacher education adapts to meet the challenges of change within the education system.

The Minister was yesterday addressing a two-day conference ‘Teacher Education in a Climate of Change’ at the Radisson Roe Park Hotel, Limavady.

The conference, hosted by the Department for Employment and Learning and the Department of Education, aims to examine the challenges facing Northern Ireland’s education system.

Stressing the importance of teacher education, Ms Kennedy said: "Teachers are facing changes on almost every front, including the rapid expansion of the use of technology in education; changing demographics and fundamental reviews of the curriculum and post primary education.

"Teacher education is fundamental to maintaining, and developing further, our strong profession, and ensuring our teachers are fully equipped to provide the top quality education Northern Ireland’s children and young people deserve. We are at a crucial juncture in education, and I hope, through this conference, that it will be possible to address in some detail the major issues, and consider together how best to take teacher education forward."

The conference was attended by over 100 delegates, including newly-qualified teachers, representatives from the various bodies involved in teacher education in Northern Ireland and teacher educators from across the British Isles.

(MB)

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