Westmeath ASTI representative Peter Keaney, who teaches at Wilson’s Hospital School, Co Westmeath, is urging local TDs to protect education in Budget 2012 by voting against any plans to increase the pupil-teacher ratio or reduce resources to schools.
The call came with the onset of Education Week (November 28-December 2 ) – a week of events organised by the country’s teacher unions aimed at highlighting the harmful impact further education cuts would have.
“There is a myth that increasing the pupil-teacher ratio by one means an extra one or two students in a class,” said Mr Keaney.
“What it actually means for second-level schools is the dropping of classes and, for some schools, the dropping of subjects and programmes. Optional subjects such as physics, chemistry, and German are under threat and may be dropped by schools. This would be detrimental for students’ career choices and job prospects.
“Our young people only get one chance to go through the second-level education system. Give our students their chance.
“Second-level schools, teachers, and students have given their share including having to cope with savage cuts to funding and resources. Enough is enough. If our politicians are serious about economic recovery, they must make a stand to protect education,” concluded Mr Keaney.
The ASTI is Ireland’s largest second-level teachers’ union representing 18,000 members nationwide.