Budget bombshell is dropped on teachers
Saturday October 25 2008
The budget dropped like a bombshell for trainee teachers Aisling Ni Cheallaigh and Grace Ogle.
Just a fortnight ago, Aisling and Grace, both in their early 20s and training at the Marino Institute of Education in Dublin, looked forward to steady, secure jobs in a growing profession with a bright future. It was widely forecast that demand for teachers would grow in the coming years to cater for the increasing school-going population.
But suddenly, with the decision to increase class sizes and the possible loss of up to 2,000 teaching jobs, their prospects have been shattered.
Grace, from Co Waterford, said: "We have gone to a lot of expense to get our training as teachers. When we are qualified next year, there will be little possibility of getting a job, because of the cutbacks. It is particularly difficult, because we are trained for one profession.
"It is not like you can suddenly switch to something else."
"It is not only terrible for us,'' says Aisling from Dublin. "I feel sorry for the children who are going to be taught in overcrowded classrooms without the resource teachers and language support staff that they need.''