Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Crowe calls on Minister for Education to urgently address the needs of Tallaght schools

29 April, 2005


Sinn Féin Education spokesperson, Seán Crowe TD has called on the Minister
for education to urgently address the needs of St. Marks Junior and Senior
Schools in Tallaght. Speaking in Tallaght this week he said the two schools
“are in dire need of extra resources to cope with the extra pressures put
on them to deal with the difficulties associated with the number of
international children attending the schools.

Deputy Crowe said, "Children from thirty two different countries now attend
St. Marks Junior and Senior Schools and the majority of them do not speak
English. No interpreters are available to the schools and the cost of
employing one is beyond their means. Because of this they are struggling to
maintain educational standards. Yet for some reason the Department of
Education has refused to supply English language support for more than two
years.

"In St. Marks Junior School there are three teachers seeking to support
the language needs of 170 international children. That's a ratio of 56
children to 1 teacher. It just isn’t practical. In the Senior School there
are three teachers supporting the language needs of 110 international
children.

"The schools have no home liaison teacher and are struggling daily to deal
with the avalanche of social, emotional and psychological challenges that
accompany relocated peoples.

"These schools are obviously a special case and are in dire need of extra
resources to cope with the extra pressures put on them to deal with the
difficulties associated with the number of international children attending
the schools.

"I am calling on the Minister for Education, Mary Hanafin to urgently
address the needs of these schools."ENDS

Connect with Sinn Féin