‘Merger’ row: Primary school parents say they’re also aggrieved

It is likely that a public meeting to discuss the possible merger of two secondary schools in Roscommon town will be held in the near future. Two meetings were held last week with the parents  and teachers of students attending the CBS Secondary School in Roscommon and the parents and teachers of students aattending the Convent of Mercy Secondary School being given a chance to give their opinion on the possible merger. There was strong opposition expressed at both meetings to the proposed merger — however parents of students attending primary schools in the town and general area are very angry that they have not been consulted at all.   One parent who has children attending the Convent Primary School told me this week: ‘They (school authorities) are consulting with the wrong people. If there is going to be change it will not come for four or five years so most of the students in the schools at present will be long gone. It’s the children attending national schools in the area who are going to be affected so the parents and teachers in that sector should have a say. There will have to be a public meeting on the matter to guage what people are thinking’.   There is now major uncertainty as to what exactly is planned for second level education in the town. There was extreme anger at the meeting in the Convent as parents and teachers alike expressed their outrage at the suggestion of a possible merger and the lack of consultation on the whole issue.   The general feeling among parents at both meetings is that both schools have been doing well on their own and that situation    should be left as it stands into the short to long term. However it emerged at the meeting in the Convent that the Department of Education is considering Roscommon town as a ‘one education centre’ into the future which is an indication that a decision has already been made with regard to the future. This news brought a new fury to proceedings at the meeting in the Convent as it appears that some one in the Department has aleardy made up their mind as to what should be the future for second level education in the town. Such a suggestion has enraged parents and teachers who say that far from a consultation process, what is going on now is a   process of   people going through the motions before amalgamation action is taken by the Department. It is thought that a public meeting will be called for Roscommon town in the next two weeks to discuss the matter.