first_imgA Co Donegal priest has slammed Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan’s plan to breathe new life into smaller schools.Fr John Joe DuffyStranorlar-based cleric, Fr John Joe Duffy says it has finally dawned on the Government the role such schools have to play in Irish society.But he says it is very clear the Government fails to be truly committed to the provision of education in rural isolated communities, in communities where we have minority faiths scattered over a large area and to communities that have a linguistic identity of their own. “Yesterday we got a press release from the department indicating their commitment to all of the above, today and tomorrow action is needed.“We have seen 4 years of wasted opportunity to develop and progress education in rural Ireland. It has amazingly taken 4 years to convince this Government of what is plainly obvious to all of us.“Whilst this announcement sounds good, I still believe it is full of empty rhetoric, lacks substance and the devil is in the detail. It is nothing more than a time buying exercise leading up to a crucial General Election,” he said.He added that the actual details provided go nowhere near to reversing the 2012 cuts introduced by Minister Quinn, which is the kernel of the problems and difficulties which these schools have experienced over the past 3 years. “I am not convinced that this announcement will create one new job nor will it give one red cent of extra funding to these already cash strapped schools.“The only new aspect of this announcement is that the Government now realise that the error of their ways in relation to rural education. They have once again failed miserably to provide any additional resources to support this sector.“I challenge the Minister for Education and her Department to acknowledge that the series of cuts since 2012, has impacted more severely and negatively on small schools, faith minority schools, Gaeltacht and rural DEIS schools.”And he adds that nothing short of a full reversal of Minister Quinn’s savage cuts will adequately deal with the problems that have arisen in rural schools since budget 2012.“Minister O Sullivan’s announcement yesterday is nothing short of a 3 card trick-aimed at making us believe that all will be well in rural schools, motivated in trying to convince rural communities that their schools will be better off and more secure in the future. “The Minister’s announcement,” Minister O’Sullivan outlines new policy to support sustainable school communities “, is catchy in title, long overdue for rural Ireland, but sadly lacks true substance and real additional financial resourcing.”DONEGAL PRIESTS SLAMS EDUCATION MINISTER’S PLAN FOR SMALL SCHOOLS was last modified: February 18th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:educationFr John Joe Duffylast_img

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