EDUCATION SET TO SUFFER AGAIN UNDER BUDGET CUTS
Today’s budget contains some very regrettable cutbacks in the education sector, which puts the IMF bailout and bankers ahead of those who use our education system. There has been no attempt by Fianna Fail to minimise the costs of education to families at a time when taxes are increased and social welfare payments have been cut.
Donegal more than any other county is subject to higher furher education costs as the distance to many third level institutions is prohibitive and many families cannot afford to send their children to colleges that are located in the main cities, this is regrettable and shows a lack of long term planning.
Ireland’s performance in the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey show that our education system is failing from years of under investment. Ireland is now ranked outside the top ten developed countries in terms of reading, science and maths. This is the result of years of cutbacks to all areas of our education system by Fianna Fail.
The decision to introduce a €50 transport charge for primary school students and a €350 charge for secondary school students means families will face huge bills just to get their children to school, particularly in rural Donegal .
A new line has been crossed for the first time by charging families to send primary students to school.
The government has also put a cap on the number of Special Needs Assistants and reduced the school building budget considerably. Children with special educational needs will not receive the help they deserve and our children will continue to go to school in prefabs and run-down buildings for years to come.
The decision to increase third level fees to €2,000 is counter-productive and will put real pressure on hard working families.
A Donegal family that has two children in secondary school and two in third level will need to pay 4,700 euro to get these students in the door in addition to travel costs and accomodation for those away studying.
The era of free education has been terminated today.
Students have to pay for registration fees, books, accommodation, travel and other expenses. Increases in fees will make it even harder for students to further their education and reach their full potential.