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This programme analyses the complex problems involved in the Southern Irish secondary schools 'going comprehensive'. The film, which is introduced by Bob Bell, Lecturer in Educational Studies at th...e Open University, examines the views of parents involved and of a number of other individuals at both local and national level. For example, the views of the Department of Education, leading politicians, representatives of the teaching unions and of the religious orders. The situation is highly complex, however, a number of key questions emerge. What should the relations of Church and State be with regard to Education?' 'How far are the proposed changes the result of external pressures or educational pressures?' 'Do the proposed changes reflect economic or educational need, or both?' Thes questions are then related to the community context of a country town, where the proposed changes have led to angry meetings and rival positions.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: E352, "Education, economy and politics"
Item code: E352; 06
First transmission date: 28-07-1973
Published: 1973
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:23:44
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Producer: Ken Little
Contributors: Bob Bell; Gareth Fitzgerald
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Athy, Co. Kildare, Southern Ireland; B. O'Flahertty; B. Watchorn; Church and State; Comprehensive changeover; Department of Education; E. Reen; Finbar and Eddie Furey; Fr. Mcgarry SJ; G. Heydon; K. McCarthy; K. Meelian; M. Holly; M. Martin; Mrs. Lambe; P. Maloney; Politicians; R. Coudell; Religious orders; Rev. Pasley; Secondary schools; T. McDonnell; Teaching unions
Footage description: Titles over street scenes in. Athy, County Kildare; Opening music from 'Grahams flat', by Finbar and Eddie Furey. Bob Bell describes the town and its three secondary schools, a centre of controversy in the community schools issue. Street scenes, factories, church, schools. Bell mentions the problems of cramped conditions and a restricted curriculum, the Dublin government's answer to which is the creation of one community school for the whole town. Classroom scenes: workshop, Irish class. A stormy meeting with Department of Education Officials is discussed with some of the parents who attended. Bell then speaks to the head of the Vocational School, Mr. T. McDonnell, in his cramped office, about lack of laboratories and gymnasium. Bell speaks to President of the Vocational Teachers' Association, who stresses community involvement, and to the President of the Conference of Major Religious Superiors, Fr. McGarry and the President of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland, Mr.Meehan on their definitions of 'Community'. Garden scenes. Some of the cost of the scheme was being met by international agencies. Bell speaks to Head of the Development Section, Department of Education Mr. Maloney, on the role of the World Bank, and to an opposition spokesman. Dr. G. FitzgeraId. Shots of exterior of Tinity College Dublin. Bell talks to Presbyterian minister Terence McCaughey on the role of religious orders in community schools. Messrs. Meehan, McGarry and Fitzgerald give-their views, along with two parents. The protestant viewpoint is expressed by Church of Ireland rector Mr. Pasley, and a parent. Management of community schools on the proposed pattern is critised by Mr. Holly, Secretary of the Vocational Teachers Association, and by Messrs. Meehan and Fitzgerald. Garden scenes. Finally Bell points to the failure of communication which has been at the centre of the wholecontroversy, and discusses this with previous contributors and parents. Closing titles sequence shows nuns seen through fence railings, walking backwards and forwards. Music from 'The Spanish cloak' by Finbar and Eddie Furey.
Master spool number: 6HT/70947
Production number: 00525_6020
Videofinder number: 3980
Available to public: no