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Doherty calls for Seanad debate on class sizes

11 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty called for a debate in the Seanad on the issue of class sizes. Speaking today Senator Doherty said Education Minister Mary Hanafin should reveal whether or not she intends to reduce class sizes in 2009 and 2010 after reneging on the commitment to reduce them this year.

He said, "Education Minister Mary Hanafin has reneged on the commitment to reduce class sizes. This commitment was given to hundreds of concerned parents and teachers by Fianna Fáil Deputies and Senators right across the state in the lead up to the general election last year at the well attended INTO meetings.

"In the programme for Government a commitment was given by this administration to reduce class sizes by one every year until 2010. This has now been reneged on.

"I seek an amendment to the Order of Business so that we can have a debate on the issue of class sizes.

"This house needs to hear the Minister's reasons for reneging on her commitments. We need to make a demand that she rescind her decision.

"The Minister needs to make clear whether she intends to live up to her commitments to reduce class sizes in 2009 and 2010 or if she intends to renege on these also.

"We cannot continue to allow our children to be taught in substandard, overcrowded schools and classrooms." ENDS

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