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Government fails test on investment in education -- Crowe

12 September, 2006


Reacting to a new OECD report that shows this state is one of the lowest spenders on education among OECD member states Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Seán Crowe TD has accused the Government of failing the test on investment in education. He concluded by saying, 'The money is there, but is the political will?'

The Dublin South-West TD said: "The fact that this government, in a time with unprecedented funds at its disposal, spent just 4.4 per cent of the State's GDP on education in 2003 is shameful. We are trailing behind all but one of the OECD countries when it comes to education spending.

"Is it any wonder that there are so many problems in education? This state has some of the most overcrowded classrooms in the EU and continues to under invest in both primary and secondary education. In my own constituency schools have had to divide classrooms, use libraries and even P.E. halls to accommodate their students as they haven't received adequate resources.

"We are also in grave danger of losing our competitive edge with the low level of workplace and lifelong learning. There are approximately 1 million people in the Irish workforce without Leaving Cert qualifications. If we are to continue to build our so-called knowledge economy then the up-skilling of such people should be a priority.

"There are a myriad of issues to be addressed in education but with the lack of spending commitment being shown by this government such problems will continue and even intensify. The money is there, but is the political will?"

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