Thursday, 28 January 2010
Catherine Byrne (Dublin South Central, Fine Gael)
I will refer to it. The report states children can have more positive stimulation and enjoy music, performance and composing. It acknowledges that the younger students are, the better their retention, learning, physical and teamwork skills are. I asked this question because of the wonderful success of the two schools in Ballyfermot and Crumlin. Music is very important in everybody's life, for young children in particular, because of many reasons. I have spoken to a number of teachers in my constituency who told me they have had to cancel many of their music classes because of a lack of funding and they would have to scrimp and save from one end of the year to the other to keep the project going. It fell to parents in the community who have little money to spend, especially on funding music lessons in schools, to solve the problem.
I acknowledge that some work is being done in certain areas and schools but music should be available in every school. I know about the U2 funding and the Irish funds. It is now ten months since the scheme was launched. How is it being advertised? How will the money be allocated? Some €5 million will be available over the next six years. What schools will be selected for the scheme? How can schools access the funding? None of the schools I have spoken to have those answers. The Minister of State might be able to answer some of those questions.