by JASON MOORE

SOMETHING is very wrong when teachers have to go out on strike. It means that the whole system has broken down. This week thousands of students have been forced to stay at home as teachers walked out in support of a pay claim - 200 euros more a month to be exact. Does it matter if students miss two days of school? Probably not but it does underline the fact that even the youngest can be hit by industrial action. I believe that teachers and medical staff should only go on strike as a last resort; when dialogue has completely broken down and both sides are standing firm. This is what has happened in the Balearics and unfortunately children have paid the penalty. The teachers do have a legitimate pay claim and the government must act to resolve the dispute at once. Two hundred euros a month does not appear a large sum when you take into account the valuble work they undertake.

ONE of the most boring moments of my school life was also Friday afternoons. I remember that it was either Maths or Spanish. Luckily my school class-room used to look out on to the North Sea and out of the corner of my eye I used to watch how the Tornadoes fighter bombers of 617 squadron would be put through their paces. It was quite a sight and rather noisy but highly entertaining. Yesterday was the 65th anniversary of 617 squadron´s daring Dambusters raid. It is also 65 years since the squadron was formed under the command of Guy Gibson who later received the Victory Cross. I would like to praise 617 squadron for their courage for the raid and also thank their modern day counterparts for making my Friday afternoons highly entertaining.