SCHOOL MAY LOSE TEACHER OVER BUDGET CUTS
The ‘tighten your belt’ budget and the unpopular cutbacks may, it seems, come into sharp focus at Grange National School near Fermoy as the school faces the prospect of losing a teacher next year, downsizing from six teachers to five for pupil numbers of 144. Needless to say the reaction is not positive.
“It will have a negative impact on the school. We just got the extra teacher appointed this year, now we have to face this. The 144 pupils enrolled in the school were enough for the extra teacher to be appointed, but with the new changes in the budget, 145 pupils are now required – just one more than what we have- to have access to the extra teacher,” an upset Vanessa Holland, a member of the school’s fundraising committee, who has two children attending the school, told The Avondhu this week.
The board of management and the parents association are angry over the change and they have started lobbying county councillors and the local TDs to help their cause. A delegation was also due to attend this Wednesday's Dail meeting, to lobby on the issue they feel so strongly about.
Sinn Fein Cllr Seamus Coleman has two of his sons, a 5 year old and a 9 year old, attending Grange National School. He is seriously concerned about the school losing a teacher, as he feels that the action will have significant repercussions on students’ education.
“The school is expected to have 150 students next year. That means 30 students per class. In this day and age it is not the way to educate kids. If kids fall behind, there will be no time for one-on-one teaching. When you don’t get the basics in the primary school, you’ll be struggling through all along, and that’s no benefit to the economy,” says a disillusioned Cllr Coleman.
He has a great respect and regard for the education provided at Grange National School. His oldest son attended the school, as well, and he has done very well in secondary school.
“I hate to see the reputation of the school and the educational skills damaged by what is a very bad decision by the Government. By having 30 students per class, there will be extra pressure for both teachers and kids. There will not be the same involvement and interaction. Research has proven that the lowest pupil/teacher ratio, the better the education,” Mr Coleman points out.
He has been lobbying the cause himself, as a parent and a councillor, and he hope to get support from all the local politicians who can influence a positive decision for the future of the school and its pupils.
Thursday 30th October 5:44pm