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O’Brien calls for clarity on funding and support for Cork Life Centre

4 February, 2014 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD

O’Brien calls for clarity on funding and support for Cork Life Centre

Speaking in the Dáil this evening, Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Deputy Jonathan O’Brien called on the Government to commit to funding the Cork Life Centre who provide education for disadvantaged students who have not completed mainstream education.

The Cork North Central TD said;

“The Life Centre does great work and even the Minister himself has commented on the work they do.

“They differ from mainstream education in that the students have dropped out of mainstream education but the Life Centre offers them the opportunity to get back in to education and teaching is done on a 1:1 basis with many volunteer teaching staff.

“Because of the volunteers in the centre, they can do this. Last year approximately15 students completed their Junior Cert and they have three doing their Leaving Cert this year.

“They are now in a situation where on average the Director of the Centre estimates that there are two referrals a day turned away.

“There is an uncertainty around their funding. The main contributors were the Christian Brothers and the level of funding they’re offering has decreased year on year and there’s now no guarantee of funding. If the funding goes, those students will not have the opportunity to achieve education.

“I asked the Minister if they would provide additional funding to the centre and he said he wouldn’t but they would ensure that the centre remains operational.

“It is completely unclear how they intend to do this. I am seeking clarification from the Minister and a commitment to sufficiently fund the Life Centre.”

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