The fact that some children are still in classes of 30 pupils or more means many of them are being subjected to huge educational disadvantage which has negative, long-term consequences, claims local TD Denis Naughten.
Questioning the Minister for Education in the Dáil, Denis Naughten pointed out: “If you spread the marmalade too thin on a slice of toast, you won’t even taste it. That’s effectively what we are doing with teaching resources in supersized classes across our country.
“In these instances, both weaker and stronger pupils lose out. This causes disruption, and as a result has an impact on the whole class.
“While there has been an improvement in the pupil teacher ratio due to the investment that I, along with others, secured during the term of the last Government, we still have up to 1 in 5 classes in County Galway with 30 or more pupils and in County Roscommon 1 in 6 pupils are in classes of 30 or more.
“My core objective is to ensure that every child leaving primary school can read & write. Presently one in ten children cannot do that,” he added.
“The investment needs to be put into primary education, including the reduction in large classes, starting with younger children to ensure that every child can fully participate, to the best of their ability in our society.
“No child should be in a class of more than 30 pupils and I fully support the need to reduce class sizes to achieve that core objective of ensuring that every child can read and write when they leave primary school.
“The failure to tackle supersized classes in primary schools means that many children are being subjected to a huge educational disadvantage which has negative, long-term consequences,” concluded Denis Naughten.