The President of the Irish National Teacher’s Organisation (INTO) Noreen Flynn will address a protest against planned education cuts to Donegal schools this weekend.
The organisers of this Saturday’s demonstration in Letterkenny have called for every primary school in the county to take part in the demonstration.
Campaigners against the cuts agreed on the plans for a demonstration at a meeting last week in Glenties. The campaign says proposed cuts will impact severely on Delivering Equality Of Opportunity (Deis) funding in schools over the next three to four years. They say the cuts will result in larger class sizes in all schools as small schools struggle to stay open with closures and amalgamations the most likely result. They also say changes to learning support hours is going to severely negatively impact on children most in need of extra support and help.
One of the organisers, Fr. John Joe Duffy said the presence of the INTO president at the rally will raise the profile of the campaign. He said there is huge anger from parents to the cuts. “This is a grassroots campaign against eduction cuts. The feeling is that cuts in education will continue. At the moment all schools in Co. Donegal and across the country are affected by these cuts.”
He said the cuts will impact on protestant schools the most and lessen the choice of parents. Fr. Duffy said learning support will be based on the number of teachers at a school rather than the number of students. “It means learning support will be cut in the larger schools and that is going to have a terrible effect on the children who are most in need of learning support.”
He appealed to people to “come out and be there to send a clear answer to Dublin that we will not tolerate anyone putting the future of our children in jeopardy”.
The march will assemble at the Port Road on Saturday at 2pm and proceed to the Market Square on Main Street.