29 October 2008

IPPN urges Government to rethink Budget Cuts

The Irish Primary Principals' Network (IPPN) has called on the Irish government to reconsider the planned cuts in spending on education.

The network has a membership of 5100 school principals and deputy principals, representing 90% of all Irish primary schools.
It stated that upwards of 1000 teachers would be lost to the system as a result of the budget cuts.

IPPN Director Sean Cottrell said that it is "unthinkable that consideration would be given to cutting back on an educational infrastructure that has served the country so well."

"Recent history shows us clearly that our education system is an essential part of Ireland's infrastructure," he explained. "Just as it is unthinkable that we would dismantle our transport infrastructure in the face of economic pressures, so too is it unthinkable that we would consider cutting back on the educational infrastructure, which has served - and continues to serve - us so well."

Nine days before the 2009 Budget was introduced in the Dáil, IPPN President Larry Fleming had called on the Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan not to cut the education budget in order to give our children the education they need to succeed later in life. (see my entry of October 5th)

It appears that Brian Lenihan has not listened to the IPPN's plea, and meanwhile his party and cabinet colleague, Education Minister Batt O'Keeffe, has nothing better to do than to hurl insults and groundless accusations towards teachers and their organisations.

This is especially outrageous and disappointing as Mr. O'Keeffe was a teacher himself before he became a politician. But instead of supporting his former colleagues in their daily struggle for better education and fairer conditions, O'Keeffe has now become the fiercest enemy of Ireland's children, their teachers and the whole school and education system.

The Emerald Islander

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