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Government must stand up for the Irish language and stand up for gaelscoileanna – Tóibín

25 March, 2011


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on the Irish language and the Gaeltacht Peadar Tóibín has called on the Minister for Education and the Government to stand up for the Irish language and to stand up for gaelscoileanna.
Deputy Tóibín expressed disappointment at the Minister’s refusal to reverse the decision to increase the pupil-teacher ratio in Irish-medium schools.
Deputy Tóibín said:
“Yesterday in the Dáil I asked the Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn if he would reverse the decision to increase the pupil-teacher ratio in gaelscoileanna to that of English medium schools – a step that would lead to the loss of many teaching posts.
“I was disappointed at the Minister’s response and his refusal to budge on this issue.
“Irish-medium schools have a lower pupil-teacher ratio than that of mainstream English-medium schools because of the particular difficulty in implementing a curriculum through Irish and in dealing with children who may not have Irish as their first language.
“Increasing the pupil-teacher ratio will lead to the loss of many talented teachers and will be detrimental to the Gaelscoileanna movement which for many years has been to the fore of promoting and popularising our native language among young people.
“I am asking the Minister once again to take a stand for the Irish language and for Irish-medium schools and reverse this short-sighted decision.”
ENDS

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