Education cuts impacting job creation prospects – Crowe
Speaking in advance of attending the annual INTO, ASTI and TUI teacher conferences the Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Seán Crowe TD said that austerity measures were forcing many secondary schools to drop one or more Leaving Certificate subjects.
Deputy Crowe said:
“The dramatic impact of austerity measures on schools has been highlighted by the findings of a recent ASTI commissioned survey.
“Since 2009, 47% of schools have already been forced to drop one or more subjects at Leaving Cert level. This most recent report indicates that up to 64% of secondary schools may have to drop Leaving Cert subjects and that many fifth and sixth year classes are being forced to amalgamate due to a sharp fall in teaching numbers.
“All of this is very bad news for our education system that is already reeling from a range of cuts that are impacting on schools right across the State.
“The narrowing of core subject choices in science, economics and languages will prevent schools delivering the type of broad curriculum that is needed to develop a knowledge based economy.
“Subjects such as physics and chemistry are vital to Ireland's economic recovery, yet these are the very subjects being placed most at risk. There can be no smart economy or jobs growth if young people are prevented from studying these subjects.
“As the ASTI General Secretary Pat King rightly states, education cutbacks are affecting all aspects of young people’s education.
“In the past year since the Government came to power there has been increases in class sizes, cuts to special needs supports, attacks on DEIS schools, the ending of the Modern Languages Initiative and the loss of school Guidance Counsellors.
“Sinn Féin is calling on Education Minister Ruairí Quinn to reverse these regressive cuts that will end up doing irreparable damage to the Irish education system and its economy.”