Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
End of Academic year brings more anxiety for Students facing uncertain future in Third Level Education.
By a DCU student.
As the academic year comes to a close and exam season is upon us many students will be wondering if they can afford to return next September? With assignments such as reports, essays and examination preparation looming over student’s minds as end of year deadlines are coming ever nearer. Irish student’s minds are in a limbo cycle combatting academic pressures with part time jobs in order to sustain themselves. Recent statistics from college newspapers highlight how an increasing number of students are forced to find employment resulting in them missing lectures, labs and tutorials. This places many students at crossroads, should I work to pay my fees or try to pass my exams.
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.