NEW figures show that there were 106 primary school classes in Limerick with 30 or more pupils in one classroom, some with as many as 38 children.
Limerick TD Maurice Quinlivan (SF) said the figures are “shocking” and underscore the need for investment own our education system.
“Too many of our children’s quality of education is being affected by high class sizes. There are countless classes that are far too big, in buildings too small, and not fit for purpose and I urge the Minister to urgently address this issue.
“Some of these classes are absolutely enormous and would clearly put teachers and students under severe pressure.
He said that Sinn Féin wants to abolish all classes of over 30 pupils and work towards attaining the EU average of 20 children per class.
“The Minister has an historic opportunity to introduce a two-point reduction in average class size in a single year. The Minister has an opportunity to do this by sufficiently investing in our Education system in the upcoming budget and to make progress in reducing class sizes to the EU average.
“The INTO is campaigning for a two-point reduction in average class size in a single year, I urge the Minister to listen to this and to work towards reducing our primary school class sizes in line with the EU average.
“Evidence shows that pupils do better and are better served with smaller class sizes. The complexity of the contemporary classroom is such that, with larger class sizes, teachers find it challenging to meet the broad spectrum of needs children now present with. This is particularly important for children with additional needs and those from disadvantaged communities.”