Sunday, August 11, 2013

Time to cut back to school expenses - O' Súilleabháin

A Gorey teacher has described the results of local back to school expenses survey as disturbing and serving as a wakeup call for reps from local government parties who have ignored the plight of parents at this time of year for too long.  Fionntán O' Súilleabháin, a spokesperson for North Wexford Sinn Féin and representative of the INTO, said that successive Fine Gael and Fianna Fail governments had ignored their constitutional responsibility to children's education.

Mr O' Súilleabháin said;

"Ireland is one of the last states in the EU where the government does not contribute to some, if not all, of the cost of a child's education.  It should be the opposite.  The Irish constitution lays a firm responsibility on the government to take responsibility for a child's education.  Article 42.4 of the Constitution states, 'The State shall provide for free primary education'."

"A survey carried out by local Sinn Féin over the past six weeks reveals the financial strain that Wexford parents are put under at this time of year as a direct result of the states shirking of its constitutional responsibilities.  91% of parents surveyed said that they find this time of year to be a source of huge expense and stress."

"There are clear and concise actions that the government can take to cut down on this expense.  Sinn Féin have put forward progressive measures that would bring on us on a par with the six counties, where for example school books are financed by the state."

"We are calling for the establishment of a centralised book lending scheme which would provide all primary and secondary school children with access to free text books.  In addition to this, the wasteful workbook should be abolish as it is nothing but a source of expense on parents.  School crests that can be affixed to generic supermarket bought jumpers should be made freely available to cut down on the cost of school uniforms."

"Wexford County Council should begin consultation with the Department of Education, every school in the county and suppliers of electronic tablets and similar devices in order to launch Wexford as the first county to go completely over to digital learning.  The tax on digital devices used for learning should be removed in line with school books.  Digital learning could be a much cheaper and more efficient form of education if properly subsidised by the government."

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