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Government sentences children to rot in inadequate schools – Doherty

16 July, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Commenting on the proposed cuts to contained in the Bórd Snip Nua report regarding the education sector Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty said:

“This report has shown an attitude towards education and children that is beyond contempt. This is truly shocking and should be a call to action for parents and teachers. This is a slash and burn report which has in no way taken into account the human affects of these vicious and cruel cuts.

“Its seems that the priority is to start with the most vulnerable people – children with special needs, children who require language support, parents struggling to make ends meet and send their children to school.

“The report proposes the axing of 2000 special needs assistants, the amalgamation of rural schools, further reduction by 1,000 in the number of English language support teachers to just 500 teachers, increases in class sizes, a reduction in Capitation Grants in both primary and post-primary schools by 10%, a hike up in school transport fees to €500 per year and the reintroduction of third level fees.

“Schools cannot take any more cuts. They are running on skeleton staff as it is. Ireland has the highest class sizes in Europe and is bottom of the barrel in terms of spending. Amalgamation of rural schools will cause schools to close and will squeeze children into already chronically overcrowded classrooms miles away from their homes – this coupled with the proposed increases in the School Transport Scheme simply do not make any sense.

“This report paints a sorry picture for the state of our education system. Those at the top, those who will not have to worry about this report’s implications tell us that our children should pay foot the bill for decades of greed and corruption. We say no. If the government had any sense of morality they would not implement these recommendations and instead look at other ways of cutting spending such as cutting the salaries of the top public sector earners, ending the subsidies to private healthcare and making the public sector more efficient by ending the gross wastages of public money.” ENDS

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