Back-to-school costs leave many families worrying around this time of year, and it is time the government stepped in to ease the burden on working families, according to David Gardiner, Workers’ Party representative for Palmerstown-Fonthill.Gardiner said:“We are, hopefully, coming out of a global pandemic, during which many parents have unfortunately lost their jobs or have been laid off for months putting a massive strain on family finances.
The amount of people in Dublin looking for help with back-to-school costs has increased by 15%, according to the St. Vincent De Paul charity.”“Many working families struggle to make ends meet, including paying for iPads and laptops, which proved a necessity during the lockdowns. As well, the so-called voluntary school contributions leave many families stuck for cash. That these contributions exist shows the need for far greater investment in our schools.””It is shameful for society that families must rely on charity to send their child to school. As a very basic start, the government must increase investment in education to ensure that so-called voluntary contributions in primary and secondary schools are scrapped, school books should be provided free-of-charge and school uniform costs should be kept to a minimum with less branding and more items available in shops.”
“In addition, in this digital age, there’s a need to ensure that the necessary resources are there to implement the Digital Strategy for Schools. In short, the government must ensure our education system is inclusive and equitable and that all of our children have the opportunity to reach their potential, with nobody left behind for not having the money.”