Class sizes a hot topic as election approaches

The issue of class sizes in primary school looks set to be a hot election topic in County Roscommon after it was a case of standing room only at a meeting on the topic on Monday last.             Over 200 parents and teachers gathered in Hannon’s Hotel, Roscommon on Monday night for a meeting on the issue of class sizes in County Roscommon. Tom O’Sullivan of the Irish National Teachers Organisation told the meeting that quality of the education children receive at primary school often determines their future attitude to education and thus it’s an important national issue.             ‘Time and again we are reminded how good the economy is. We need to make sure our children get the best start in life and we want to give children equality of opportunity. That’s the message we’re trying to put across.             ‘It’s wrong that in this day and age, children are still being taught in overcrowded classrooms.’ He outlined three facts to the meeting. The first is that 80 percent of children in Ireland are in classes larger than the European average. At primary level schools get less money per child than at secondary level and Ireland has the second largest class size in Europe, only behind England.             The meeting heard that various political parties have now committed to increasing the number of primary school teachers in an effort to address this issue, but parents and teachers were urged to ensure that the matter is kept to the fore on the agenda as the general election approaches.