first_imgPrint Advertisement Twitter “Figures show that efforts made in recent years to reduce class numbers in busy city schools, have been completely reversed”LIMERICK primary school classes are bursting at the seams, with class numbers way in excess of the average for schools in other parts of the country. Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Shocking new figures show that 28.4 per cent of all Limerick primary school children are being taught in overcrowded classes of more than 30 pupils.That’s 8.4% above the national average, which currently stands at one in five pupils in classes larger than 30 children.The new figures show that efforts which had been made in recent years to bring class numbers down, particularly in busy Limerick city schools, have now been completely reversed.Limerick INTO representative and school principal, Joe Lyons, said that the shameful figures are the inevitable result of education policies.“We have the second highest class sizes in Europe. “When Mary Hannafin was Minister, she promised that in five years, every child would be taught in a class of 20 or less pupils. That seems to have been just forgotten. The pupil-teacher ration was raised and now, there seems to be every likelihood that it will be raised again this year”. he told the Limerick Post.The INTO is calling on the Government to tackle the situation as a matter of urgency as the increases in overcrowding shows that young children are “paying the price of economic mismanagement.” Mr Lyons also referred to further problems for hard-pressed teaching staff and their pupils, including the policy of deciding on teacher numbers for a new academic year, based on enrolment numbers from the previous September. He said that with birth-rates rising and thousands more children coming into the system each new year, this distorts the situation on the ground.“In addition, we have children coming in whose first language is not English and English language teachers’ posts are being withdrawn, visiting teachers for Travellers children are being withdrawn”.The INTO representative was speaking as the union organised an information meeting for teaching graduates earlier this week. “The tragedy is that we have highly qualified talented graduates ready to take up posts. You need 465 points to get into teaching in Mary I – that’s people in the top 10% of Leaving Cert results. “I was at a conference last week and a principal of a county Limerick school told me of one advertised permanent post that attracted 1,023 applications. We have highly capable, talented educators who are headed for the boat and emigration”. Facebook NewsLocal NewsOvercrowded primary schools above average in LimerickBy admin – September 20, 2011 642 center_img Previous articleFormer self-employed forced to turn to charityNext articleProperty crime on the up admin Linkedin WhatsApp Emaillast_img