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Education spending must be brought in line with international best standards – Doherty

19 September, 2007


Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty has called on the Government to increase spending on education to 6% of GDP in line with international best practice. Senator Doherty was speaking today after it was revealed that despite being one of the richest OECD states Ireland is in bottom place in an international league table on education spending.

He said, "Despite our continued economic well being Ireland languishes at the bottom of the table when it comes to spending money on educating our people. This has led to overcrowded classrooms and a lack of school places in some areas, substandard schools with children even being taught in pre-fabs and just today there are reports of third level students turning to prostitution to fund their education. This is completely unacceptable.

"Sinn Féin is calling on the Government to increase spending on education to 6% of GDP in line with international best practice. This would allow the Government to build an adequate modern educational infrastructure to accommodate everybody regardless of social, religious or ethnic background.

"To compliment developers of all new housing developments should be compelled to build the necessary educational infrastructure to meet the needs of the new communities that they are building for.

"It is a disgrace that spending on education is not in line with international best practice despite the wealth of the state. The question should not be if we can afford to invest but if we can afford not to." ENDS

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