The countries leading Children’s Advocacy Group Barnardos has called on the government to cover the cost primary school education.
The group say that a €103m of government funding would ensure that every child in the country would receive a truly free education.
The call comes as the group say are that more than half a million parents are spending hundreds of euro every year to send their children to school. The group say that parents spend a significant amount of money on books, transport, voluntary contributions to the school, and classroom resources, which could be easily funded by the government.
The head of Barnardos Fergus Finlay has said the vast majority of parents face frightening school fees every September. Mr Finlay said: “The figures are actually scary – it’s €345 for a child in senior infants, to equip a child properly to start in senior infants,””€380 for a child in 4th class, €735 euro – roughly speaking – to start a child in secondary school.
Mr Finlay also added: “And that’s if you’ve only one child – if you’ve two or three in the family, it’s not hard to spend €1,000 on ‘free’ primary education.”