Crowe highlights overcrowding crisis at Tallaght IT
Sinn Féin Education spokesperson and Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has highlighted the issue of overcrowding at Tallaght Institute of Technology with the Minister for Education, Mary Hanafin, during a Dáil Committee meeting to discuss this year's Education Estimate. The Tallaght based TD called for immediate action on funding for Colleges.
Deputy Crowe said, "I think the decision to decrease Capital Funding to Institutes of Technology from last year where it stood at €76.5million to just under €52million will be met by disbelief by the sector especially in the context of the Kelly report published by the HEA late last year which called for serious investment to be made in capital projects in the sector. Does the Minister intend to implement the recommendations made in the report or is this cut indicative of her response to these recommendations?
"The report also states that student numbers are set to increase. In Tallaght IT the numbers are set to rise by some 500 in the next three years. The accommodation at the IT has just under 7sq metres per student while the national average is 10sq metres. Staff and students are clearly struggling with overcrowding at present. There is no sleeping accommodation and, more importantly for parents of young children there is no crèche facility.
"The question the Minister needs to address is how are these students and the projected new cohorts are to be accommodated. Are they simply going to be denied a place in third level because there is nowhere to put them? The Kelly report recommended €45million should be spent on Capital projects in Tallaght. The Minister has said that funding won‚t be released until next year. this is clearly not good enough.
"We need immediate action on funding for colleges to tackle the problem of overcrowding and in particular the Tallaght IT where the crisis is clearly evident. The Minister needs to fast track funding for this sector and allow colleges to respond to the increase numbers." ENDS