I see some of the “left” parties are calling for the end of a €90m subsidy for “private schools.”
They are, of course, 100 per cent right.
In this day and age it’s ridiculous situation which results in parents, nationally, forking out €90 million a year to fund their children’s schools.
Oh. Sorry. You thought it was the funding of teachers, inaccurately described as a “subsidy” by lefties, to which I was referring.
Apart from the fact that the schools aren’t “private”, they’re fee-paying, the parents of the children who attend them save the state an enormous amount of money every year by paying for everything other than teachers’ salaries.
Ah, the lefties say, the children in those schools get an unfair advantage in life.
I’m not sure about that.
But even if it’s true, do children who have, for example, their own large rooms with computer, desk, television and so on, not also have an advantage over children who might be three to a bedroom in a small house?
Should we bring equality to that area of their lives too? Demolish Dalkey! Is that the next lefty cry?
And what of the children who spend the summer in daddy’s house in Spain or France or who are brought to the States or Australia during the holidays. Do they not have an advantage? Should all summer holidays be equal? And if not, why not?
Then there are kids who have to walk to school because mammy and/or daddy can’t afford any kind of car let alone a big SUV. Should be ensure that all children arrive at the school gate in a similar way? Seems only fair.
You could go on and on listing the inequalities children face.
And of course we should try to help, legislatively and otherwise, to bring more equality into the lives of our children.
My own experience in Blackrock College is of a diverse group of various backgrounds, some rich, some not so rich whose parents spent every penny sending their sons to what they believed was the right school for them.
So our populist lefties rattle on about one form of perceived inequality but not others.
You will note that none have called for a change in the situation which prevents ordinary mortals from even claiming tax relief on the cost of getting to and from work while these boys and girls get several grand a month each tax free for travelling to Leinster House.
And do you know what?
They are unwittingly making the strongest argument of all against fee-paying schools.
Look. Eoin O Broin – Blackrock College. Mary Lou McDonald – Notre Dame. Paul Murphy – St Killian’s German school Clonskeagh. Richard Boyd Barrett – St Michael’s College.
If those schools are responsible for teaching those four the crap they come out with, urgent action certainly is needed.