Friday, November 24, 2006

Mary Haffin or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Oppostion

When I read this on RTE (Dept to appeal ruling in dyslexia case) about the department of Education discriminating against people I was not sure how I should responded. I haven’t been made this angry by Brian Dobson since the time when they would interrupt the Den to bring coverage of the Budget. I used to think Mary Haffin was a decent politician the kind we needed in the future. But no she is in fact the kind the country does not need. This post contains some fowl language so if you are easily offend. Well tough.

One of the big things now in Education from the all the parties is the need for more special needs teaching and care etc. With Mary ”discriminate” Haffin telling us how she is oh so committed to disabilities and all that crap. And yes that is what it is crap, bull, spin, shite. She could not give a flying shit about disabilities in the education sector. If she really did we would not have this disgraceful case been taken and not only defended but appealed. Yes the Department of Education wants to appeal the right to discriminate. They feel hard done by. Not the people who they have singled out as some kind of sub beings labelled as inadequate to part taken in society as an equal citizen. No Mary “discriminate” Haffin is the one that is hard done by.

The Department of Education argued the case that by giving the students wavers in the exam they had given the pupils in the exam an advantage over the other students thus they have to add the footnotes stating that their marks were not really that good.


Now I feel I need to point out the reason for the waver step by step because it seems that the department does not quiet get why it does what is does I feel the need to educate them. So for any department members reading this, this is for you.

The reason that they give the wavers was because the students were at a disadvantage in the first place. With me so far? The object of the exercise of giving the wavers is that they don’t suffer this disadvantage i.e. The advantage of not marking spelling cancels out the disadvantage of not being able to spell. Ok? Now here is the tricky bit. Thus they are even with the rest of the students. Got it? Quiet logical isn’t it. So drop the appeal.

What god dahm use is giving someone a waver if you are going to say that they got that waver and thus their marks don’t really count. I mean does everyone else see the sheer lunacy in that suggestion. What the f**k is the point of the waver in that case. In fact what is the point of giving them a leaving cert at all if you are just going to give them a “special cert” f**k it how about sod the Certs altogether and just give them gold stars for turning up on the day.

This is not spelling test we are talking about we are talking about the Leaving Cert. It is a bit beyond the realm of spelling test. Does mis-spelling Bismarck make your argument that he was the most important man in reuniting Germany any less valid. No of course not does mis-spelling infatuated make the argument that Yeats fancied Maud Gonne any less valid. NO IT DOES NOT. I wrote this post in word and have used the spell checker without it my post would be full of spelling and grammar errors but would the argument change. NO it would not.

Marking a Leaving Cert paper down for spelling especially in the case of someone who actually has a difficult problem spelling these words is just a lesson in being an arsehole. Sorry I know there is a lot of grammar police out there. Hell I have had many a person on Internet boards think it better to point out my spelling mistakes then actually deal with my points. And that is just being a pedantic wanker.

All people with dyslexia want is a chance to make something of there lives. They didn’t ask to be dyslexic, they didn’t ask to mix up “but” and “put”, they have worked hard. Indeed many of them have had no special needs teaching thanks to the department and have had to worker harder then their counterparts to get to the same level. But they did it, they don’t complain and all they ask for and it really is a very minor request is that mis-spelling words is not used to dock marks from other wise fine arguments. That they be allowed a chance to get a head in life to make something of themselves, to go to college to get good jobs, to use their intellect to better their lives and contribute to society. But no Mary does not want to give them that chance.

I myself am dyslexic. I got no special treatment in marking of my exams and it did effect my results profoundly. And It did change my life. Whether or not it was for the better I will never know. But I think I got lucky. There are many people who aren’t as lucky as me. Who lose out on their chance at doing something not because they can’t do what they want to do but because they mis-spelled words in an Exam when they were 17/18. This ruling wants to give them that chance at life, the Department of the Education want to stop them. Because heaven for bid someone who mis-spells wants a fair crack at an exam.

Fianna Fail has lost my vote.

1 comment:

Bock the Robber said...

You make fair points. I'll have to think about what you said.