Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
Remembering back to 2011 and the Labour Party Manifesto, there is one particularly interesting paragraph on page 60 outlining the party’s position on access to third level education. It reads, “Labour abolished third-level fees in 1995 and we are opposed to their re-introduction. We refuse to go back to the days when only the relatively wealthy could count on going to third level, or when a family could only afford to send one of their children to college”.
We hear a lot these days about how the key to solving Ireland’s economic woes lies in building a “knowledge economy.” Fianna Fáil’s education minister, Batt O’Keefe, was a big fan of throwing this phrase around. And, as in so many other ways, Fine Gael and Labour have continued Fianna Fáil’s empty rhetoric.
How odd, then, that both Fianna Fáil and FG/Labour have continually advocated policies that have done serious damage to the Irish educational system. Class sizes in primary schools have risen continuously over the last five years and 85% of primary students in the Republic are now in classes of 20 or more, well above the EU average.
Following a large and angry demonstration of parents, special needs assistants, teachers and pupils outside the Dáil a debate took place on a motion presented by United Left Alliance and Independent TDs from the Dáil Technical Group opposing the Governments cuts.
Protesters came from all over the country and moving testimony was given from the speakers platform of the impact of these cuts. However despite this and the points made by TDs in the debate including Clare Daly Fine Gael and Labour shamefully stood over their cuts.
A national coordinated effort has emerged for a bigger protest against these cuts which will take place on the opening of the Dáil after the summer break.