Previous Executives have presided over a serious lack of investment and a serious decline in our education system – Workers Party candidate Nicola Grant has said
“The first five years of a child’s life are the most formative, yet we have no comprehensive early years education strategy in place to ensure that every child gets the best start in life.
Academic selection at 11 continues to determine children’s futures, despite having been abandoned more than ten years ago.
Every teenager should have the unhindered option to pursue third level education at university, college or in a vocational setting.
Education is an investment in all our futures. Tuition fees should be the responsibility of the state – not the individual. Student grants should be available to all.
Finance should never be used as a barrier to deny opportunity. The policy of student loans and thousands of pounds of tuition fees effectively debar many working-class students from entering university.
And of course, despite it being prioritised in the Good Friday Agreement almost a quarter if a century ago there has still been no serious progress on integrated secular education. In fact, Sinn Fein and the DUP have conspired to side-line it altogether.
There has never been a justification for the apartheid-like education of our children. There is no justification for it now. The next Assembly must prioritise a system of integrated, secular education at all levels”.