Clare Sinn Féin’s General Election Candidate Noeleen Moran met with Northern Assembly Education Minister John O’Dowd in Ennis today to discuss cuts in 3rd Level Student Grants.
The meeting took place during the Annual Congress of the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation.
Miss Moran said, “A priority for Sinn Féin, is protection of children and young people in schools. We want to ensure fairer access to higher education and to ensure newly qualified teachers are paid a decent wage. Last week a report showed that the number of students from rural counties receiving supports to attend 3rd level had fallen. But a big concern, was that the percentage drop for County Clare, was the highest in the country.”
“This highlights the impact of recent cuts to student grants that make third level education an impossibility for some young people. For County Clare, with no third level institute of its own, we need adequate supports to exist to ensure equality of access to third level for all Clare students,” she added.
Minister O’Dowd, spoke about cuts in education in the north, and the difficulty surrounding making the socially correct decisions.
He spoke about how as Education Minister, he opened up the north’s program to provide ‘hot lunches’ to more students.
“However, because the Westminister Government, controls funding of Education, and apparently cannot control their taxing system, It, makes Education a daily battle,” he stated.
Mr O’Dowd, said water charges have been rejected by Sinn Féin in the north and “will never be brought in there”.