Fianna Fáil Education spokesperson, Thomas Byrne TD says that the latest OECD Education at a Glance Report clearly illustrates that investment in education in Ireland is way below what it should be, despite Government rhetoric.
Deputy Byrne said that “The report shows that in 2015, Ireland invested 3.5% of GDP in education which is significantly below the OECD average of 5%. In 2005, we invested 4.6% of our national income in education.
“The reality is that Ireland continues to be close to the bottom of the OECD class when it comes to funding education. The next budget will have to make progress on bridging this gap.
“Underfunding our schools is evident in many spheres, whether it be in delayed school building projects, schools requesting ‘voluntary’ contributions from parents to meet ordinary running costs and in the huge added expenses that burden parents in a ‘free’ education system.
“Minister Bruton says that he wants to make the Irish education system the best in Europe by 2026. The fact is that we have a long way to go simply to get to the OECD average. The Minister needs to stop the slogans, follow the example of Fianna Fáil and fight for a lot more funding for our schools,” concluded Byrne.