The long term implications of the Small Primary Schools Value for Money Review has caused concern that many rural schools in places like County Galway face being shut down in the coming years.
This is the view of Fianna Fáil Galway East TD Michael Kitt who is calling on the Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn to make a firm commitment to protect small rural schools into the future.
In its submission to the Department of Education on the Small Primary Schools Value for Money Review Fianna Fáil demanded that small rural schools be protected from closure. Minister Quinn has confirmed that no early decision will be made in relation to recommendations on the future of such schools.
However Dep Kitt said this still falls short of “a long-term commitment” from the Government. He wants Minister Quinn to “to clarify this issue once and for all” and “come clean about the implications of ‘clustering’ rural schools”.
“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 our rural communities,” he said. “The Department of Education must take into account the role these schools play in their community and the wider implications of closure.”