Litir é seo ó phríomh oide Gaelscoile a fhoilsíodh san Irish Examiner inniu. Tá sé i mBéarla ach creidim go bhfuil tabhacht leis – agus tá súil agam bheith ar shráideanna Chorcaí Dé Satharn chun mo fhreasúra don íonsaí seo ar ár bpáistí ag an Rialtas a throid…..
Beag is fiú an phlámas ó Bhatt O’Keeffe faoi ghaelscolaíocht nuair atá a roinn ag bogadh in éadan gach páiste, idir Ghaelscoileanna is eile, le cinntiú nach bhfaighidh siad an seans atá tuillte acu ón gcóras oideachais….
I’m proud of our Gaelscoil children and ashamed of the Government
I WRITE this letter with pride… pride in the fact that I am the principal of a wonderful school, Gaelscoil Mhainistir Na Corann (Midleton) in Co Cork.
I am proud of the 304 children under my care, proud of their humble achievements, proud of the child who won the cross-country race and the first-class child with the glowing eyes who shouts out “bonjour” in greeting when I enter his classroom.
I am proud of our Sciath na Scoil team, proud of the exemplary behaviour of their supporters and proud of the child who completed her application form for second level in near perfect Irish.
I am even proud of the child who asked me was I a mammy or a granny!
I am proud of all their golden moments. I am proud and privileged to be the principal of a dynamic, enthusiastic teaching staff, proud of the teacher who organises the book fair, the teacher who coordinated science week, the teacher who is taking control of the Christmas choir, the Scór music group, the healthy eating week… the list is endless. I also write with despair, despair at a Government that would even contemplate cutting the already underfunded primary education sector.
How dare they take from the most vulnerable in our society, our children. I despair of telling the teachers and parents of my class of 35 and 37 that, yes, they will have to continue as 35 and 37 into the next school year, even though I had promised otherwise. No one envisaged an increase in the pupil/ teacher ratio. I despair that our school, which was founded 10 years ago, is still in a temporary building with numerous prefabs attached.
I despair that the Government sees spending vast sums of money on rented accommodation as preferable to setting plans in motion for a Gaelscoil in one of the towns designated as being in a ‘rapidly developing area’. I despair as I worry about where I am to accommodate the class of 2009-’10. I despair of the letters of refusal I will have to write: “Sorry , no space in the school.”
I despair as I write letter upon letter to the Department of Education knowing they will fall on deaf ears. All the children in our school are unique individuals, but to the department they are just numbers and euro signs.
Our school is a microcosm of many other schools in the country. Our problems are also the problems of other schools.
Therefore I urge people to rise early this Saturday and be counted among the thousands who are going to protest in Cork at the despicable way the Government treats the education of our children.
Mairéad Uí Fhloinn
Gaelscoil MhainistirNa Corann
Mainistir na Corann