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Crowe urges support for trade unions’ week of action on education

29 November, 2011 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin’s education spokesperson, Deputy Seán Crowe, has urged people to support the week of action that has been organised by teaching trade unions who are attempting to protect education from further cuts in next week’s budget.
Deputy Crowe said: “From the 28th – to the 2nd of December the IFUT, INTO and TUI have organised a campaign to protect education from budget cuts that would cause further significant damage to our education system.
“Since the 2009 Budget, there have been cuts to the per-capita grant and other grants to schools. Any further reduction of the education budget will push many schools to beyond breaking point and there is growing alarm at what is happening.
“Increases to the teacher-pupil ratio have already had serious implications for schools throughout this state. For every teacher lost 33 timetabled classes will have to go and already schools are being forced to re-organise which will mean subjects being dropped from the curriculum.
“Any further increases to the teacher-pupil ratio mean non main-stream subjects, such as German, music, art-craft-design, and design and technical graphics will be unavailable in many schools and added to this will be the damage done to non-mainstream programmes such as the Leaving Certificate Applied. We will be left with a diminished classroom learning environment where teachers are forced to devote more time to management duties and less on teaching.
“If the speculation is correct, anywhere between 1500 and 2000 teaching jobs are at risk. Our education system will be unable to absorb these loses. I would urge people to support the Trade Unions' Week of Action and make clear to Government TDs that they should honour their pre-election promises and protect our education system.
“Sinn Féin’s pre-budget proposals put forward thoroughly costed alternatives to the government’s slash and burn polices and we have shown how it is possible to sustain and enhance our education system. Education is fundamentally important to our future economic prosperity, a point that has been emphasised again and again by parents, teachers, economists and business leaders. Investing in our education system, even in these dark economic times, will benefit our society for generations. The opposite is also true, and if this government continues along its current path then we face a very bleak future.”

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