Education is a fundamental human right. The reduction of provision for education at all levels by the current and previous governments is an attack on that right.
Young children need a good start in education in order to benefit fully at further and higher levels. That is why I strongly support the demands of the Irish National Teachers Organisation.
Class size is a huge issue. The current shocking ratio of 27 pupils to 1 teacher is only an average. Many pupils are taught in cases above 27. The ratio must be reduced to 20 to 1 as quickly as possible but by no later than Sept 1, 2018
Cuts to funding of Disadvantaged (Deis Schools) must be restored
Capitation grants to primary and secondary schools, further education and Youthreach must be increased to restore funding and to relieve pressures on hard pressed parents for voluntary contributions.
The ban on filling of assistant principal posts has placed huge burdens of overwork on colleagues such as principals and classroom teachers. This ban must be removed.
The Restoration of dedicated Guidance Teacher posts, as is being sought by ASTI and TUI is generally necessary, but is particularly needed by students from educationally deprived back rounds.
Ruairi Quinn, Labour broke his promise to abolish college fees. This must now be done to give all our students a fair chance of achieving third level qualifications at degree and postgraduate level.
Our third level Institute here in Co Tipperary, LIT-Tiobrad Árann, is doing vital work and making a vital contribution to our culture and to our economy. But the funding of third level institutes has been slashed by 30% while student numbers have increased by 10%. These damaging cuts by the current and previous governments must be restored urgently.
In the most recent budget the Fine Gael-Labour government gave 125 million Euro in tax relief to the top 5% on an average 186,000 Euro per year each. These priorities must be reversed
Seamus Healy TD