Fianna Fáil Education Spokesperson Brendan Smith TD has today reiterated the need for Ruairi Quinn to urgently reverse his decision in Budget 2012 to include guidance provision within the standard allocation at post primary level from September this year.
Deputy Smith said “A survey of secondary schools published today by the ASTI has revealed that the majority of secondary schools (70%) are not only considering cutting their guidance provision but also intend to drop at least one or more critical subjects from their Leaving Cert programme from September (64%). I have been pointing out the error of Minister Quinn’s decision since he made it. I call on him again to revisit this mistake.
“The Minister’s decision to include guidance provision in the standard allocation was an ill conceived and bound to have the effect we are now seeing. We always said that the effect of this decision would be a dramatic reduction in career guidance and counselling services for students, something that will have a disproportionate effect on vulnerable and disadvantaged students. But what the ASTI survey shows today is that schools are also being forced to drop critical subjects like higher level physics and chemistry at a time when all those who are working to rebuild the economy are trying to encourage more students to take up these subjects.
“Today’s ASTI survey provides us with an important insight into the wide ranging consequences of this decision. I have a genuine fear that from September 2012 one to one career guidance and counselling services will become a thing of the past and the number of students taking physics, economics and chemistry will drop at a greater rate than before. It is not too late for Minister Quinn to think again,” concluded Deputy Smith.