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Crowe slates government on illiteracy

22 February, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Science Sean Crowe accused the Fianna Fáil/PD Government of "letting our children down while it presided over unprecedented wealth". Deputy Crowe made his comments after it was reported today that illiteracy levels were growing in the country, especially in areas of disadvantage.

The Dublin South West TD said, "Whilst we hear Minister for Education Mary Hanafin constantly stating that tackling educational disadvantage is her priority, we currently have a situation in which students, most notably those from areas of high deprivation are performing poorly regarding literacy, according to examiners of 2005 Junior Cert papers.

"It is very frustrating and reprehensible that we should have illiteracy at all in this country, never mind the worrying level that we do have. In the early 1960s, through voluntary literacy crusades, the Cubans as a third world country at the time, eradicated illiteracy from their island, whilst forty years on an extremely wealthy Irish government are struggling to cope with the same problem.

"There is an undeniable link between educational disadvantage, illiteracy and unemployment. The government must address this issue immediately before levels drop even further." ENDS

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