Government policy has led to a brain drain on our schools - Kathleen Funchion TD
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Education, Kathleen Funchion, slams the government for the current shortage of qualified teachers in some subject areas.
Teachta Funchion said:
“There has been a significant brain drain from our schools with young teachers choosing to avail of secure jobs abroad instead of casual, part time work here.
“Why would graduates remain here with an unequal pay system, difficulty securing a permanent position and a high cost of living, especially in our cities, when they can avail of secure positions and better pay and conditions abroad?
“The Education and Training Boards Ireland are reporting serious shortages in some subject areas which are resulting in students having no qualified teacher in specific subjects for months on end.
“It is alarming that students sitting their Leaving Cert may have to sit an exam in a subject where they have received inadequate and incomplete teaching due to this shortage.
“This is leading to the even more alarming appointment of unsuitable staff as managers are forced into have somebody instead of nobody which serves no one and leads to further issues long term.
“The response from the Department of Education that there is no shortage or crisis is frankly unbelievable.
“This is much more than a “pinch point” for schools who have revealed vacancies in posts for which they have never received an application, despite advertising the positions several times, and it is not good enough that the Minister and his Department refuse to acknowledge it.
“The Minister needs to address this issue urgently both in the long and the short term before more of our children are forced to sit state exams for which they are wholly unprepared as a direct result of this crisis."