Dáil debates

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

School Textbooks

10:40 am

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin Bay North, Labour) | Oireachtas source

I can tell the Minister where the strengths are. She just has to look across the Border. Anybody from the North who comes to live in the South will tell her that it is ridiculous that they have to go scrambling around looking for a book list and trying to get schoolbooks for the new school year. They just do not think it is their role. All of these conversations at school community level about buying books and book rental schemes are replacing conversations about education or child development. There is an opportunity for the Minister. A sense of vision should creep into the Department of Education. It should say that it will work towards a situation where there are free schoolbooks for every child in the State. This would cost €20 million at primary level and €20 million at secondary level as well. The sort of administrative burden that has been placed on schools because of book rental programmes, whereby they have to chase down the book money and put an onus on parents to go and get the books, would all be eliminated by such an investment. Every school in the country and every child in the country would have schoolbooks as a right for free.


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