Investment in education is critical to pulling Ireland out of recession, the presidents of the country's four teaching unions has warned.
Marking Unesco World Teachers Day, the heads of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT), the Irish National Teachers Organisation (INTO), and the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) said education was central to economic recovery.
Jack Keane (ASTI), Hugh Gibbons (IFUT), Jim Higgins (INTO) and Bernie Ruane (TUI) pointed to a recent report from global economic think tank the OECD, which said spending on education was essential.
They said in a joint statement: "The message is clear. Compromise education and you not only compromise the future life chances of an entire generation, you put economic recovery in jeopardy."
They urged the Government to protect education from further budget cuts and to reverse those already imposed, and ensure an investment plan is devised for the development of a world-class education system.