Fianna Fáil Vision in Education
Fianna Fáil as a party have a long record of prioritising education.
While the reforms of the Irish education system since Donogh O’Malley’s time have been expansive, there are still many communities who are not fully participating in the benefits of education. There are also still too many children with disabilities and special needs who are not being given the resources and support to fully engage in their education. This requires an ambitious strategy and sustained investment at all levels of our education system.
At primary level, this can be done by easing pressure on overburdened classrooms, revitalising small rural and urban schools, fixing school infrastructure and by reducing and eventually eliminating the need for parents and guardians of pupils to pay voluntary contributions to keep the school gates open.
At second level, the careers information and guidance to young people has deteriorated severely in recent years leaving too many young people at risk of making poor choices that they regret later and from which it is difficult to escape. This is why we need to restore the ex-quota provision of guidance counsellors to schools as a matter of priority as well as continuing to make measured reforms to curriculum and assessment.
Government policies over the last number of years have left deep marks on the third level education sector. The removal of postgraduate grants compounded inequality, creating a comparative advantage for those whose families can provide them with financial support to gain credentials that are increasingly required to make one professionally employable in many walks of life. Meanwhile, the starving of exchequer funding from universities and institutes of technology has pushed these institutions to the financial brink. This is unsustainable and has to be addressed with substantial funding increases in the years ahead.
Finally, the Further Education sector has not been given the attention it deserves or requires to provide high quality, career focused training. In Ireland, there is a suspicion that FE learners are of lesser ability, which is a prejudice that we all need to work to overcome as a priority.
Reducing school failure, improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils and ensuring fair and equitable access to higher and further education for all pupils is a key priority in Fianna Fáil’s education policy agenda. It is not acceptable that that patterns of low educational attainment exist alongside above-average unemployment, emigration, ill health and high levels of exclusion.
As a society, we have always prioritised investment in education and we will need to continue to do so if we’re to have an inclusive, merit-based and quality system of education.
Fianna Fáil believes in a fair and balanced taxation system which rewards work, funds vital public services and encourages enterprise.
Making our capital city a vibrant place to live, work and raise a family.
End the mortgage rate rip-off.
Addressing house prices by supporting first time buyers and tackling rent levels.
Fighting for a fair recovery across the entire country.