Sinn Féin’s Dáil Education Spokesperson Deputy Seán Crowe, has met with officials’ from the Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland, (ASTI) including The Union’s Assistant General Secretary, Moira Leydon, and Diarmaid de Paor, the organisation’s Deputy General Secretary.
Describing the meeting as ‘useful and informative,’ the Tallaght based TD said he was determined to meet with as many Organisations and individuals working in the Education Sector as possible in order to ensure the rights and entitlements of teachers and students within the Irish school system are maintained and improved.
Deputy Crowe said “The meeting with senior personnel from the ASTI was an opportunity for me to hear at first-hand some of the many challenges and issues facing teachers working in schools across the Irish State.
“The loss of our economic sovereignty means we face increasingly challenging times.
“There is widespread agreement across civic society that if we are to generate future growth then we have to ensure a high standard of education that will produce a highly motivated, skilled and capable workforce.
“The resources available in schools and the support given to teachers are central to teaching our children effectively, and greater emphasis has to involve ensuring everyone, regardless of their economic, social or ethnic background has the opportunity to fulfil their academic potential.
“During the meeting with the ASTI a number of issues were discussed, including the Croke Park Deal; further possible cuts in teaching staff and the implications this would have for class sizes; the delivery of key subjects within the school curriculum and the challenges faced by teachers who will be central to implementing any future reforms to the Junior Cert examination.
“Sinn Féin shares a lot of commonality with ASTI on many of these issues.
“We support the rights’ of children and young people to avail of an inclusive well-resourced education system where classroom integration and access to a range of support services are available to assist teachers and their pupils.
“This Government needs to invest in the State’s education system and prepare today’s young students so they are well equipped to enter opportunities in the workforce while developing their full potential.
“It is essential even at this difficult economic time that we see the roll out of a progressive education system through the implementation of forward thinking polices.
“Investing in education, school infrastructure, teacher training and the resourcing of early intervention when a child is identified as having behavioural or learning difficulties makes short, medium and long term sense and will repay the investment many times over.” ENDS