Speaking in the Dáil this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD criticised the Labour and Fine Gael’s record on education since entering government and called on the Taoiseach to intervene in the growing crisis in second level schools.
The Dublin Central TD said:
“Parents of secondary school students are deeply worried about the uncertainty now facing their children following the ASTI rejecting of the Haddington Road Agreement.
“We all know that no teacher wants to strike or engage in industrial action. Teachers want to teach, and deliver the best education for their students.
“Education is being damaged by your government’s austerity approach. Guidance services have been withdrawn, teachers are spending less time teaching due to extra administrative duties and there has been a loss of classroom teachers from schools.
“These are the actions that have disrupted and damaged the education of our young people in recent years – not the actions of teachers.
“Rather than address the concerns of parents, students and teachers Minster Quinn has charged in like a schoolyard bully and escalated the situation by threatening compulsory redundancies.
“Minister Quinn has presided over the chaos of SUSI, broken promises on student fees and is now considering increasing primary school class sizes.
“There’ll certainly be no stars on his copybook. So the question is, will you listen to the concerns of parents and intervene to resolve this latest crisis in education?
“This government’s record in education has been disastrous. They’ve continued with the slash and burn policies of Fianna Fáil.
“Government has entrenched educational inequalities and as we understand it are considering a further €100 million in education cuts in the forthcoming budget.
“The government must address the concerns of parents and intervene to resolve this crisis in second level schools before it is escalated any further.” ENDS