Labour’s lack of understanding of rural living poses a real threat to the future of rural schools, according to Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill, Fianna Fáil candidate in Donegal South West.
Senator Ó Domhnaill said, “Those of us familiar with the realities of rural living understand that as well as achieving high standards of education, schools are at the heart of rural communities.
“Many schools across Donegal are a focal point for the local community and part of the unique identity of the area, with grandchildren often following their grandparents through the doors of the same school, grandchildren often following their grandparents to play for the same school team.
“Recent comments from the Labour Education spokesperson Ruairí Quinn that rural schools are not giving “value for money” will send a chill down the spine of parents in small communities here in Donegal and all over Ireland. In the last few weeks, Deputy Quinn, who according to opinion polls looks set to be the next Education Minister, told the Irish Independent that he favoured clustering small rural schools. This is a policy which will lead to the closure of local schools around the country.
“Fianna Fáil have held the line on protecting small rural schools. Indeed, we were the party that actually doubled the number of teachers in small rural schools. We have always understood that education should not just be about ‘value for money’.
“The Value for Money report being carried out by officials of the Department of Education and Skills will come to the next Government to consider. A Labour Education Minister in that position is a real threat to rural schools.
Senator Ó Domhnaill concluded, “Can Labour be trusted not to rip the heart out of rural communities leaving the roof to rot and fall in on the local school as local children travel miles away for their education?”
Posted: Feb 10, 2011 | Categories: Uncategorized