Local TD calls for action on Cavan Monaghan class sizes – Matt Carthy TD
Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has called on the Minister for Education to address excessive class sizes, citing figures obtained by Sinn Féin that reveal there are over 2,500 classes with more than 30 students across the state. 79 of those are in the Cavan Monaghan constituency.
Deputy Carthy said:
“This pandemic has exposed just how underfunded, understaffed, and overloaded our education system is. Overcrowding in classrooms is undeniably a major issue resulting from decades of under-investment.
“Figures released to Sinn Féin’s Education spokesperson now reveal that there are 79 classrooms across Cavan and Monaghan that have more than 30 pupils, 44 of those are in County Monaghan with one classroom in the county having an unacceptable 37 students.
“With an average classroom size of 22.7 and 23.3 in Cavan and Monaghan respectively, the number of students per classroom is unacceptably higher than the EU average of 20.
“The reality is that keeping schools running in the last year was made considerably more difficult by the fact that we have some of Europe’s largest class sizes. There are far too many classes that are much too large, often housed in inadequate buildings that are unfit for purpose.
“Our teachers and principals are doing trojan work to provide a top-class education for our children. But, they are working under conditions that we know are unacceptable.
“The first step in improving educational standards and safety regulations is to dramatically reduce class numbers to the EU average of 20.
“The government should immediately conduct a nationwide audit of class sizes and seek to resolve this issue as quickly as possible so that schools can remain open in a safe and sustainable manner in the coming months.”