Independent TD Carol Nolan, has described a response by the Minister for Education, Norma Foley, to questions she submitted relating to the controversial inclusion of recommended reading material for children in schools as”entirely unsatisfactory and entirely lacking in any kind of appreciation of the anger that the issue has generated among concerned parents and educators.”
Deputy Nolan was speaking after she submitted a parliamentary question to Minister Foley asking her if she would conduct a review of all recommended book reading lists for primary and post primary schools to ensure that they are age-appropriate and do not contain age-inappropriate graphic sexual imagery and language:
“Astonishingly, Minister Foley’s reply does not contain a single word expressing or even acknowledging any concern about how graphic and basically pornographic reading material made its way on to a recommended reading list for school children. I find that almost incomprehensible and indeed deeply troubling,” the Laois Offaly TD said.
“Instead, the Minister’s reply has shifted the responsibility entirely back to local schools and away from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment’s (NCCA) and indeed her own Department. This is completely unacceptable.,” she said
“Only last month the Minister was praising the fact that the new primary curriculum reflected the interconnected developments in education and the progress of policies and strategies being worked on by her department.”
“The Minister has a duty to allay the real fears and concerns of parents and educators. We need more than a bland statement and reply that is more concerned with process and the blame game,” concluded Deputy Nolan.