Minister must meet DkIT group
Gerry Adams has called on the Education Minister to engage with Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) staff and the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) following his attendance at a briefing in the Dáil for all Oireachtas members on Wednesday 16th December.
The Louth TD said;
"State wide funding allocations from the Department of Education to the Institutes of Technology (IT) have been drastically cut. This week TUI members in ITs have voted overwhelmingly to support strike action against these cuts. Sinn Féin supports their position.
"In DkIT, the figures speak for themselves. In 2007 the State grant was over €22,000, by 2014 it had been reduced to €14,000. This is a reduction of €8,000 - over a third of the DkIT’s Department funding.
"It is important to note that while State support had been steadily reducing, student numbers are increasing. This means that staff at DkIT have to do more, with less and they have told me that this is compromising learning outcomes and causing them extreme stress.
"This is further compounded by the loss of 40 academic posts and by the Institute's inability to replace old, dilapidated and obsolete equipment.
"In practical terms the lack of funding means that every financial request must be scrutinised with even basic supplies not being replenished."
The Sinn Féin President continued;
"DkIT's importance to the area in terms of education provision and employment, cannot be over emphasised. This, combined with the demographics and population predictions in the surrounding counties mean that it must be fully resourced in order to ensure that people living in the region can access quality education and that the skills needed by the employers of the future are provided.
"During Wednesday's presentation to Oireachtas members it was agreed that a request would be sent to Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan asking her to meet with all those concerned. I hope that the Minister will agree to convene this meeting."