According to new figures the following schools will lose at least one teacher in September as part of a three-year plan to slash teacher numbers in small rural schools: Scoil Náisúnta Gort An Choirce, Gortahurk; Scoil Cholmcille, Malin; Scoil Náisúnta Arainn Mhór, Arranmore; Scoil Náisúnta Loch An Lucbhair, Annagry; Scoil Naomh Chonaill, Bunbeg; Ayr Hill National School Ramelton; Scoil Náisúnta Na Hacrai Burtonport; Scoil Náisúnta Umlach, Carrigart; and Gaelscoil Chois Feachaill, Moville.
In addition to this, 7 disadvantaged schools in Donegal will lose a teacher each under the DEIS cuts being enforced by the Education Minister Ruairí Quinn. These are Scoil Mhuire, Glenties; St Johnston, Lifford; Scoil Chartha Naofa, Kilcar; Scoil Cholmcille, Malin; Scoil Adhmhnain, Raphoe; Scoil Náisúnta An Chaiseal, Glencolmcille; and Scoil Cholmcille, Carrigart.
Fianna Fáil Senator Ó Domhnaill said this is the first concrete evidence of how the Government’s anti-rural education policy will hit schools in Co Donegal.
“What we are seeing is the first phase of this Government’s attempts to force the closure of a number of small rural schools across the country, and particularly in the West,” said Senator Ó Domhnaill.
“The Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has targeted the West of Ireland has for the bulk of the teacher cuts this year. A total of 46 schools in Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo, Galway and Roscommon will lose at least one teacher this coming September. And this is just the beginning.
“Minister Quinn is embarking on a 3-year programme to slash 250 teaching posts across rural Ireland. In all, I have calculated that 101 of Donegal’s primary schools face staff losses and larger classes in September 2013, 2014 and 2015.”
He added that this is a deeply flawed policy that unfairly targets rural communities.
“There is no doubt that the end game is to force the amalgamation of small schools, resulting in some rural communities losing their local school altogether. These cuts are based on pupil numbers alone, with absolutely no consideration of a school’s ethos, the geography of a particular area or the impact on the community of removing such a key amenity.
“This is about much more than education policy; it’s about preserving smaller communities in rural Ireland. Schools are at the heart of so many communities in Donegal and across the West. Many of these communities have already suffered cuts to other local amenities like their garda stations and post offices. The social and economic consequences to them losing their local schools at this time would be huge.”Tags: