O’Brien makes emotional call for protection of DEIS schools
Speaking on the Sinn Féin motion on DEIS schools in the Dáil today, TD for Cork North Central Jonathan O’Brien made an emotional call on the Minister for Education to protect DEIS school and ensure all children have equal opportunities in education.
Deputy O’Brien said;
“As a parent of two children attending DEIS Band 1schools, I will make no apologies for bring forward this motion. All children should have equal opportunities in their education.
“During this debate I listened to contributions from all sides of the house and not one single TD, including government TDs said that being in a DEIS school has a negative impact on children. The Minister of Education spoke last night about a review to see what kind of impact the cutbacks would have however it would have been logical to have done this before the announcement was made.
“He also stated he had recently received three reports on DEIS and the findings of one of the reports demonstrated an overall improvement in the average reading and maths achievements. The Minister does not need a report to tell him that. Every TD can testify to the benefits of DEIS. These reports are no more than a smokescreen and a fudge of the issue.
“The last time a government minister spoke of a review relating to my constituency we saw orthopaedic services close in the hospital on the north side of cork city. The idea of a review is no more than a cover for Labour backbench TDs and an opportunity for them to roll in here today and support the government amendment.
“As a parent of children attending DEIS schools and on behalf of other parents and children I am asking the Minister to please not proceed with this and protect equality in education.”