Curriculum losing out to prayers

THE amount of time spent on prayers and religion means there is less time available for the rest of the curriculum at the North Dublin Muslim School, the school inspection report found.

The report says that external personnel are employed by the school to teach religion. They work in all classrooms for 45 minutes each day, teaching the Koran and Arabic — in other national schools the normal period is 30 minutes a day.

Pupils in middle and senior classes also attend prayers for 20 minutes each day with additional time required for preparation, the report says.

However, the report says all of this eats into the delivery time for the national school curriculum.

The inspectors say it is imperative that the integrity of the school day be maintained and that the suggested minimum timeframe be adhered to for delivery of the six curricular areas as advocated in the Primary School Curriculum.

It notes that some of the teachers absent themselves from class during these times.

They say it is essential that the pupils are supervised at all times by qualified and recognised teaching staff and that class teachers continue to have teaching contact with pupils throughout the school day.

The board has been told it must ensure that pupils are adequately supervised at all times by qualified teachers.

– John Walshe

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