Covid policy in the Department of Education smells of begrudgery

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Did you ever notice that those politicians on the left who preach about “fee-paying schools” don’t seem to have a problem pocketing salaries of €97,000 a year plus a minimum of €2,400 a month in tax free allowances plus €750 every 18 months for a new mobile ‘phone plus free parking, free post, subsidies for their constituency offices and…

…it goes on and on.

Equality is, it seems, for others.

So let’s once again lay the myth about fee-paying schools.

Yes, the state funds their teachers as it does for ALL schools.

But after that, it is parents who pay for everything. They pay for electricity and insurance and sports facilities and whatever the school puts on offer with their agreement.

Indeed, if the 50 or so fee-paying schools in the country were to turn around tomorrow and say they were going to join the ranks of all the other schools in the country, it would cost the taxpayer upwards of €90 million a year.

The hypocrisy is mind boggling.

The lefties (Eoin O Broin, Paul Murphy and Rich Boy Barrett were all privately educated) demand equality in education.

But surely the logic is that we then all live in identical houses and drive identical cars and are paid the same whatever jobs we do. Why just when it comes to education?

Why? Because it’s easy and it’s lazy.

Right now, ALL the schools in the country are struggling as they prepare to repopen under Covid restrictions and Covid regulations.

But the Department of Education has decided, in its “wisdom” to exclude fee-paying schools from any grants available.

Leaving aside the fact that the victims of this nasty policy decisions will be children, not their parents, I’m left asking: Why?

Well, I’m of the belief that begrudgery plays a large role in the bitterness we see in relation to fee-paying schools. Begrudgery and ignorance.

The fact is that fee-paying schools save the state millions every year.

And it is also true that the children who attend fee-paying schools are not all the sons and daughters of millionaires.

Indeed, in my experience many of those who shared a classroom with me in a fee-paying school came from homes which struggled to pay the fees – but did so because the parents believed they were doing the best for their children.

We were no millionaires – but six of us went to fee-paying schools. It is no coincidence that my parents didn’t EVER enjoy foreign holidays, that my father drove a small car, that we holidayed every year in exotic places like Loughshinny and Rush.

But my mother and father believed the sacrifices they made were worth making.

Still the begrudgery goes on.

Do you think the public servants who made the decision to exclude fee-paying schools from Covid grants would be happy if it was decided to make all pensions in the country equal, depriving them of the benefits that come with a public service pension?

No. I don’t think so either.

There’s that old story about two people looking up at a mansion on a hill in Killiney or Dalkey or Howth.

The visitor to Ireland admires the house and says his ambition is to be successful and get a house like that himself.

The Irish guy says he’ll “burn the bastard out.”

Begrudgery.

It seems many on this island are born with it.

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