Fianna Fáil has urged the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn not to dismiss genuine concerns of teachers about the severe impact of cuts to frontline education services.
Speaking after attending the annual conferences of the INTO, ASTI and TUI this week, the party’s Education Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue expressed concern about the increasingly fractious relationship between teachers and the Minister.
He commented, “Teachers are angry about the litany of broken promises on education from the Labour Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn and his government.
“They feel the Minister has failed to take on board their genuine concerns about cuts to frontline education services, cuts to supports for children with special needs, cuts to small schools, cuts to guidance counsellors and savage cuts to the pay of graduate teachers. They feel that their best interests and the best interests of the children they teach are simply not being represented at government level.
“We have already seen how the government’s refusal to listen to members of the gardaí has caused an unprecedented crisis in our garda force. This dismissive approach has proved extremely harmful and it cannot be used on teachers and other frontline public service workers. Minister Quinn must start listening, taking on board the genuine concerns of teachers and ensuring that they are consulted on reforms of the education system.
“I am also urging Minister Quinn not to proceed with his blind attack on small schools. Not only do these schools provide an excellent standard of education in the vast majority of cases, they are also the heart of their communities. Any policy to force amalgamations and remove the local school from a community must be resisted.”