Free education is a myth in Ireland, Sinn Fein has claimed.
The party said it will focus on making schools and college more affordable for the least well off if given a mandate in the general election.
Aengus O Snodaigh, outgoing Dublin South Central TD, said Sinn Fein would oppose third level fees, increase the school capitation grant and set up a book lending scheme.
"The cost of education has increased exponentially year on year with experts indicating the cost of educating a child from junior infants through to third level to be in and around 70,000 euro," he said.
"Every September is a struggle for parents to come up with the money needed to send children back to school.
"Added up, the cost of books, uniforms and transport reaches into the hundreds and often thousands."
Mr O Snodaigh said Sinn Fein was committed to making free education a reality, with its plans to make the wealthier pay more towards the public purse.