FG attacks Govt over 'teacher losses'

Teachers will be sacked in up to 28 primary schools because of what the Opposition says are broken government promises, the Dáil will be told today.

Fine Gael claims the Coalition has reneged on a pledge to reduce the pupil-teacher ratio from 27-to-one to 26-to-one by September 2008.

The Opposition party says this means that 28 schools across the country will lose a teacher because they currently have a lower ratio.

Fine Gael’s education spokesman Brian Hayes said government TDs faced a stark choice with his party’s private members’ motion.

“They can back the Fine Gael Motion or they can back the forced removal of teachers from schools that are already overcrowded.”

He added: “Pupils and teachers in these schools are already suffering with overcrowded classrooms and their pain will be increased by this unjust move to remove teachers.”

Some of the schools are located in the Cork constituency of newly-appointed Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe.

A two-day debate on the issue will begin today before a Dáil vote takes place tomorrow.

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