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Sinn Féin committed to reversing government attacks on education - O’ Brien

14 February, 2016 - by Jonathan O'Brien TD


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education, Jonathan O’ Brien TD has outlined the manner in which Sinn Féin will invest in education, reversing the damage inflicted by Fine Gael/Labour and successive governments. 

Deputy O’ Brien said: 

“Fine Gael and Labour have seriously damaged the education sector in Ireland. Not only have they failed to invest adequately in education, they have imposed cut after cut, affecting every level of the system. 

“The government increased student fees and removed many grant supports, forcing many third-level students to drop out and leave their courses. They cut funding to schools, which resulted in students being taught in overcrowded classrooms.

“Under Fine Gael and Labour, supports for children with special needs were removed so they have less time with their Special Needs Assistants and Resource Teachers.

“This government have put paid to the notion of free education and have hugely increased the burden on struggling families. Labour and Fine Gael cut the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance three budgets in a row. Cuts to capitation costs means that some schools can barely cover costs and parents are under increasing pressure to make up the shortfall. 

“Studies show that one in five secondary school parents have to get loans in order to cover the costs of school. Yet the government continues to subsidise private schools with millions in taxpayers’ money, reinforcing a two-tier system of eduction.

“Sinn Féin believes that education is a basic and fundamental human right and should be accessible and affordable to all. We are committed to reversing the worst of the austerity cuts imposed on this sector and ensure that equality remains not just an aspiration but a cornerstone of the educational system.”

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