TD: ‘Teaching has been reduced to crowd control’

school-editMore than one in four primary school children in County Waterford are now being packed into classes of 30-plus, according to local Independent TD John Halligan.

Responding to statistics which show the percentage of primary children in county Waterford in a class of 30 or more went from 22.1 per cent in 2011/2012 to 27.9 per cent in 2014/2015, Deputy Halligan said more Waterford primary children than ever before are now being squeezed into ‘supersize’ classrooms.

“In the city, cuts to teacher allocations have forced this figure up from 14.4 per cent to 17.7 per cent in the same time period,” he said.

“Waterford now has some of the most crowded classrooms in the country, despite a Government promise more than a decade ago to have all under-nines in classes of below 20. The country has the highest average class size in the eurozone and one in 10 primary pupils are in a class with fewer than 20.”

Deputy Halligan said the situation in Waterford was putting a huge strain on teachers and school resources.
“I have been approached by local teachers who say they are under incredible pressure to do their jobs. Many admitted to me that their job is now as much about crowd control as it is teaching. Class sizes in Waterford have become beyond ridiculous and children – particularly those who might be struggling educationally – are losing out as a result.”

Meanwhile, 10 local schools across Waterford are to benefit from the 2015 Summer Works Scheme, according to Labour TD Ciara Conway.

The schools included in the scheme are as follows: Clonea NS, Scoil Baile Mhic Airt (An Rinn), Scoil Naomh Deaglan (Ardmore), Scoil Faiche Liag, Villierstown NS, Kilmacthomas NS, Carraig Liath (Dungarvan), Saint Paul’s NS, St Angela’s Ursuline Convent and St Paul’s Community College.

“It’s good to have these 10 schools approved for works to be carried out under this popular scheme,” said Ciara Conway.

“This is positive news for school communities and indeed the wider l community as these projects and help provide a capital injection to the construction sector, helping sustain jobs in the area.

“The fact that the majority of works will be carried out over the summer months means it also minimises disruption to students, teachers and other school staff.”

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