“Equality of opportunity must be grounded in education policy” - Tóibín
Today the Higher Education Authority published a detailed report outlining the class-based discrepancies in educational and income prospects.
The report found that the students from affluent backgrounds are more likely to pursue third-level education, that recent graduates with affluent backgrounds will earn significantly more than graduates of the same courses that have less household income. Also, the report found that there is clearly disproportionate representation of students from affluent backgrounds enrolled in highly sought courses.
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD stated:
“We all know that Ireland, despite the establishment's rhetoric, is a deeply divided and unfair society.
“One area of life where that is clearly visible is the education sector. There is an indisputable imbalance between citizens where education, and therefore earning prospects, are concerned.
“The Higher Education Authority’s report drives home the reality that the life prospects of citizens are crucially determined by the level of income of the household into which they are born.
“In the centenary years of the Irish revolution, Irish society should redouble our efforts to ensure that the promise of the 1916 Proclamation to ‘cherish all the children of the nation equally’ and its guarantee of ‘equal opportunities to all citizens’ are brought to fruition.
“Sadly in the Ireland of today, the political establishment, Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael, are wedded to an ideology that perpetuates the inequality between our people that the patriots of one hundred years ago set out to abolish.
“For Aontú, a levelling of the playing field is required to develop a republic where equality of opportunities really exists. Whether a child is born in Donnybrook or Moyross, he or she should have the same opportunities. That we know that that is certainly not the case should be a call to action for all of us committed to fairness and a society where all citizens can achieve their potential.”