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3,000 people to march in school budget cut protest

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 14/02/2012. 3,000 people to march in school budget cut protestTags: Education And Politics

A protest march featuring 3,000 representatives from small schools across County Mayo is set to take place in response to the government's budget cuts announcement.

Approximately 150 primary and secondary institutions have come together across the region to launch the Save Our Small Schools campaign.

On February 25th, supporters will march from the Mall to the Castlebar constituency office of An Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The aim of the protest is to raise awareness of the detrimental effects the budget cuts will have on education and to deliver a letter of petition calling for the proposals to be reversed.

Mayo school principal at Glenmore NS, Crossmolina, Caithriona Carty said: "These cuts are a direct attack on small rural communities, removing the focal point and diminishing communities throughout rural Ireland, targeting small schools and special needs children."

Clara McGowan, campaign chairperson of Save Our Small Schools, recently commented that the fight against budget cuts is "gaining a national momentum".

Written by Donal WalshADNFCR-2163-ID-801291956-ADNFCR


Patrick J. Flannery

(26-02-2012 01:26)

Congratulations Sinn Fein with 25% in tomorrow's Times Opinion Poll...
Saturday, February 25, 2012 2:39 PM
"P.J. Flannery" wrote to:,

Hello Gerry, Pearse, et al,

Well done. -- Congratulations with your 25% ratings in tomorrow's Sunday Times opinion poll.

If I may ask, where is Sinn Fein to be heard from regarding an opposition to the likely closure of numerous small two-teacher rural schools in Ireland?

Forcing cutback on the pupil-teacher ratio is downright madness. This will undoubtedly and ultimately lead to closing the vast majority if not all of what was referred to in the past as: "the little two-teacher schools".

Should they be forced to close -- will the students have to then be bused to larger schools? If so at what cost and who will have to pay for transporting them?

How will the proposed cuts impact the teaching of the Irish language, and indeed address Ireland's dismal approach to Mathematics. Both of these components to the school curriculum require an entirely new approach and attitude far from the way they have been taught in my time?

How will closing the schools impact child safety going to and from school especially in dark winter mornings and evenings? Was there not a recent debate in the UK around keeping summer time and/or actually putting the clock forward an hour to make the daylight time more conducive to the needs of daily living and manufacturing?

For the record, I attended Cregduff National School, Ballinrobe from 1957 to 1967.

Ireland was a very, very poor country in those times; however, there was never a threat that any of the little "two-schools" schools would be closed. I well realize that the attendance roll call was much higher in those days.

Those, too, were times when numerous children simply slipped through the cracks without ever receiving the recognition, let alone the necessary support required to meet their needs in the area of special education.

I am one of them. I was definitely a late bloomer -- I attended school when the only solution to remedy slow learning was to keep me back in both first class and again in second class. Hence my having to spend 10-years in Cregduff N.S.

Consequently and for the reason that I was tall to begin with -- I had felt totally isolated when I first attended the Vocational School in Ballinrobe at 15-years-old, that was back in 1967.

I refused to return to school after the 1968 Christmas break because the teachers in those days simply beat, bullied and intimidated disabled students. We were simply cock-shots to them for their profound lack of knowing a better way to comprehend and/or cope with or to serving our fundamental needs. In fairness, I cannot say that they were all bad, but the vast majority were in real need for at a minimum, "sensitivity training".

I was therefore unable to avail of third level education and to obtain my Bachelor of Arts (BA) until I immigrated to the United States in my mid 40s. I eventually obtained my BA when I was 55-years-old.

My father as did many of his counterparts, referred to as: 'small farmers in Co. Mayo met the annual requirement of supplying the cart load of turf to keep us warm and toward ensuring the boiling of the kettle to warm up our plastic bottles of cocoa mixed with sugar and milk for the lunch break in the impoverished two-teacher schools of County Mayo. How I well recall that the classrooms were only sufficiently warm when it was time to go home when classes were dismissed.

I firmly believe that there has to be a community effort sought toward keep these little schools not just to remain open, but to flourish.

What is going to happen to these buildings anyhow if they are closed? Are these cuts the ONLY prospect at a time when so many homes are not completely finished and numerous others remain uninhabited for their having been repossessed by the banks.

All we are hearing from Brussels is cut, cut and cut again -- this madness has simply got to stop -- the people ought to rise.

People simply must be encouraged to play an active part in maintaining whatever infrastructure already exists and to therefore build upon it.

Kind regards,

P. J. Flannery, San Francisco, California

cc: ekenny


(17-02-2012 01:42)

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