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O'Keeffe must reverse all education cuts - Doherty

5 December, 2008 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Speaking today on the decision by the Minister for Education and Science to reverse his budget decision to cut all substitute cover in secondary schools, Sinn Féin Senator and education spokesperson Pearse Doherty has said that it is time for Minister O'Keeffe to go back to his books and do the right thing by the pupils and teachers of Ireland.

Senator Doherty said:

"Last night's announcement by the Minister for Education and Science to roll back on his budget decision to cut substitute cover from secondary schools shows plainly that he did not do his homework before publishing his education budget. While this is a welcome move we must remember that there are thirty-one further cuts which will all have a detrimental impact on our education services. So it is a case of one down - thirty-one to go.

"This roll back simply does not go far enough and must be accompanied by complete reversals of the other cutbacks including increases in class sizes, caps on language support teachers, abolition of grants towards special needs provision, Transition year, Leaving Cert Applied etc. The list goes on and on.

"The statement from Minister O'Keeffe saying he did not want to impact on schools into the New Year is laughable considering the major obstacles that face schools across the state from January onwards as a result of his Government's budget.

"While welcoming this roll back I would again reiterate my party's demand for a complete reversal of the cuts in education. I commend the teaching unions, pupils and parents for their continued efforts in highlighting these blatant attacks on the most vulnerable and urge them to keep up their fight." ENDS

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