• Invest in Publicly-Funded Third-Level Education in Ireland Now
    #EducationIs a public good. The report outlines three funding options: 1) Funding Option One: A Predominantly State-Funded System. 2) Funding Option Two: Increased State-Funding with Continuing Student Fees. 3) Funding Option Three: Increased State-Funding with Deferred Payment of Fees Through Income Contingent Loans. USI know that Funding Option One is key for Irish students' future. Funding Option One: A predominantly state-funded system advocates that the state would significantly increase its core grant to institutions and the €3,000 undergraduate student contribution would be abolished. Higher education would be free at the point of entry for all first-time EU students and for part-time learners.There is also the possibility of extending free tuition to postgraduate education. Funding Option Three will have a negative effect on the lives of current and future Irish students. USI know that an income-contingent loan scheme is not a viable solution to third-level funding as a burden of €20,000+ debt upon graduation will deter people from applying to college. Financial strain of placing this debt on graduates spans across all communities and groups including parents, children, staff and teachers - not just students. The campaign is supported by members of the Coalition for Publicly Funded Higher Education including SIPTU, IMPACT, TUI, IFUT and the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) so far. FACTS ABOUT LOANS America's student loan debt ($1tn+) is greater in value than the combined economies of Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia. In other words, American students owe the combined value of all transactions in those countries in a year. Home-ownership in under-40s in New Zealand has drastically fallen since the introduction of student loans, from 57% to 25%.” Charging no tuition-related fees, Germany has 41 universities that are considered by Times Higher Education to be among the best in the world. In France, where they have registration fees of under €200, there are 27. 70% of the 2015 college graduates in the UK are not expected to ever repay their college loans, according to The Institute of Fiscal Studies.
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    Created by Union of Students in Ireland (USI) Picture
  • ⌗stateoftheart campaign for urgent reform of the Leaving Cert art curriculum
    Despite requests, the Leaving Cert art curriculum has not been revised since 1972. Leaving Cert Art itself is not required or recognised as entry to 3rd level art college (matriculation), students must produce an additional portfolio of artwork, putting extra financial and time pressure on them and their parents during the stressful Leaving Cert year. Art is the most difficult of all 32 Leaving Cert subjects to achieve an A1 grade at higher level. In 2016, students were four times more likely to get an A in higher level physics than in higher level art and seven times more likely to get an A in ordinary level physics than in ordinary level art. Candidates at ordinary level experience the inequity of the current system, in 2016, 1011 male students took ordinary level art in the Leaving Cert, only one of them achieved an A1 grade. Art History and Appreciation makes up 37.5% of the Leaving Cert art exam, students are expected to study the history of European and Irish art, craft and design from c.3200 BC to the present day in approximately 44 hours. For all these reasons the number of students choosing art at Leaving Cert is falling, from 10,783 in 2011 to 9,747 in 2016. This decline will have a knock on negative effect on third level art and design education and ultimately on the creative sectors who contribute so significantly to our wider economy, society and culture. It is essential that the Department of Education, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and State Examination Commission (SEC) work together with art teachers, parent and student groups and relevant stakeholders in culture and industry to design and implement a new Leaving Cert curriculum, not simply assessment reform. For more facts and figures about the ⌗stateoftheart campaign and the Leaving Certificate art curriculum visit our website http://www.artteachers.ie/ or follow us on social media.
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    Created by Art Teachers' Association of Ireland ATAI Picture
  • Allow Paddy Flynn attend secondary school
    Only 13% of Travellers complete formal education in comparison with 92% of the general population. 7 out of 10 Traveller children live in families where their mother has no formal education or primary level education only. By refusing Paddy entry to secondary school the message is being sent to all Traveller children that they are not wanted. His parents can not read or write - they didn't understand that there was a cut off point. Being refused entry will have a terrible effect on his live and future prospects. http://www.rte.ie/news/2016/0829/812760-traveller-school/
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    Created by Sally Flynn
  • Save The Meadows, Merlin Park Galway
    Merlin Park meadows has been conserved as a public amenity space for many generations and is a vital green space for the people of Galway. With 84 acres of land already zoned for development within the Merlin Park hospital complex, it will have an adverse impact on the community - once it is gone, it can never be replaced. With the expansion of housing and commercial lands surrounding the area, it is a healthy environment for the ever increasing population who depend on it as an escape from polluted environments, a place for mental relaxation and physical activity. Along with the Merlin Park Woods it is the only known habitat in the city where Red Squirrel are thriving and sightings from other areas of the city are of roadkill. It is home to thousands of mammals and wildlife species such as butterflies, bumblebees and dragonflies providing a safe haven for them with huge declines in the number of these species and many threatened species in recent years. It is home to a variety of Orchids and wildflowers similar to the protected Burren in Co Clare. This is a very unique meadow within the city of Galway and is totally natural. Galway has been awarded the European Green Leaf Award for 2017, to allow development on public land and destroy this meadow would totally go against this.
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    Created by Car Stanley
  • Take a Stand for Palestine
    Thanks to anti-apartheid activism by Mary Robinson and others, in the 1980s Trinity College ended research ties with South African universities until equality was introduced and human rights were respected in that country. Now, in 2016, ordinary Palestinians face discrimination and upheaval from Israel on a constant basis. Speaking in July about the devastation inflicted on Gaza, outgoing UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described Israel's policies against the Palestinian people as collective punishment. The situation for ordinary Arab families living in Israel and Palestine is heartbreaking! But we can take a stand for Palestinian rights. TCD's research partners in Israel in the past have included the weapons manufacturer Elbit Security Systems and The Israeli Security and Counter-Terrorism Academy. Today, Trinity's strongest links are with the Weizmann Institute of Science and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which has built part of its campus on illegal settlement lands. It's time to take a stand for Palestine! Mary Robinson is a champion of global justice, but she's also the Chancellor of TCD, University of Dublin. Call on her to bring an end to research ties between TCD and Israel until the human rights of Palestinians are respected.
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    Created by Ciaran O'Rourke
  • Secondary School Transport
    There is a severe shortage of spaces for secondary school kids in rural Ireland and CIE refuses to sanction extra buses to meet the demand
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    Created by Denis McDonald
  • Change the rules so that lone parents can go to college
    I and other lone parents like me want the opportunity to go to college and break the cycle of poverty for myself and my daughter. But without being able to access the Back to Education Allowance this is not possible. I have been offered a place in Trinity College but can't take the offer because I work part time and rely on FIS. The rules were changed last year and are forcing lone parents to remain in poverty.
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    Created by Erica Fleming
  • Keep Lough Key Forest Park In Public Ownership
    Lough Key Forest Park is a national treasure and must at all costs be kept in public ownership. We're really worried that plans are afoot to sell it or part off, similar to what happened at Newcastle Forest where publicly owned land of which we the Irish people are the stakeholders of was leased to a foreign private company for profit gain. Una Bhan is a 'high' POEM / song in the Gaelic tradition,which tells the tragic love affair she had with a rival of her father.It is widely sung the length and breath of Ireland,and it symbolises our rich gaelic culture.She is buried on an Island close by......our heritage belongs to everyone, and no one!
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    Created by Ian Hester
  • UCC: Revise decision to name building after Dr. James Watson
    University College Cork is a welcoming and inclusive place of learning. In recent years, Dr. Watson has made a number of statements that are racist, misogynistic and homophobic. As such, it is unacceptable that members of the Governing Body would choose to name a building in UCC after a person with such a viewpoint as Dr. Watson. Therefore, we encourage you to sign this petition to show that students, staff members and the wider public will not accept this decision.
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    Created by UCC Feminist Society
  • Support the Irish language - 733 campaign
    • 733 children’s names were submitted by parents in the Drumcondra/Marino/Dublin 1 area asking for a Gaelscoil. The submission was made to the Department of Education along with other submissions from other patrons. 733 is a record number for a Gaelscoil campaign nationwide. The school was denied in favour of an English speaking primary school and awarded to Educate Together. The new school will open in All Hallows, Drumcondra in 2016. FACT 24 = Number of Primary Schools in the Drumcondra, Marino, Dublin 1 Area 21 = English Schools 3 = All Irish Schools This decision makes it 22 English Schools and 3 All Irish Schools in the area In the context of Ireland’s centenary year it is deeply regrettable the Department of Education failed to support a campaign that had the highest numbers ever received and recorded in support of a Gaelscoil in the history of the state. ACTION REQUIRED 1. A second new primary school should be immediately sanctioned by the Department in the area of Drumcondra/Marino/Dublin 1 2. An alternative to a second school is to co-locate both a Gaelscoil & Educate Together School in All-Hallows Drumcondra 3. A new ruling stating an Irish Language School (minority language) should not have to compete directly in numbers with a majority language school. 4. Pitting parents against one another for a school for their children is wrong. The system needs to be changed 5. In our centenary year we should reflect on decisions by the Department of Education to deny an Irish language School and begin the conversation as to what role the Irish language will play in the next 100 years Support our campaign to have our choice of primary education recognised and to address the unfairness in the decision-making process for new primary schools. Sign our petition and encourage others to do the same.
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    Created by Aidan Fitzsimons
  • Aire Sinsear don Gaeltacht sa Rialtas!
    Is é an Gaeilge ár teanga náisiúnta, agus le Aire sinsear Gaeltachta, is féidir leis an Stát an Stráitéas 20 Bliain don teanga a neartú. Ba chóir go mbeadh gach Roinn den Rialtás áiseanna as Gaeilge a chur ar fáil, agus le béim níos fearr ón córas polaitiúil, beadh seans níos fearr do athbheocháin na teanga.
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    Created by Paul Culloty
  • Irish arts, culture & heritage needs adequate funding & a dedicated government Department
    Ireland has one of the lowest levels of public funding and support for arts and culture in all of Europe. Successive Irish governments claim to honour and take pride in our rich cultural heritage, celebrated artists and world-class artistic achievements but consistently fail to nurture and support the creative community. The Arts, Culture and Heritage communities have suffered disproportionately under the last government. The impact in the sector, on jobs, community and education as well as on our international reputation has not been assessed in any credible way by the incoming government. We demand a) an independent adequately resourced Department is created b) a commitment to raising funding the arts, cultural and heritage sector to European average of 0.6% c) publication of a national cultural policy that has the endorsement of the community. CÉN FÁTH A BHFUIL SÉ SEO TÁBHACHTACH? As na tíortha uile san Aontas Eorpach, cuireann Éire an méid is lú maoinithe agus tacaíochta poiblí ar fáil do na healaíona agus don chultúr.. Bíonn Rialtas i ndiaidh Rialtas sa tír ag maíomh as an mbród agus as an mórtas a bhíonn orthu as saibhreas ár n-oidhreacht cultúir, as ár n-ealaíontóirí iomráiteacha agus as ár sár-ghaiscí ealaíne ach, ag an am céanna, déanann siad faillí orthu siúd atá ag gabháil do na healaíona, gan cóir ná tacaíocht ceart a chur ar fáil dóibh. Tá na pobail atá ag gabháil do na healaíona, don chultúr agus don oidhreacht tar éis fulaingt as cuimse faoin rialtas deireanach. Níl aon mheasúnú sásúil déanta ag an rialtas atá tagtha i gcumhacht ar an tionchar a bhí aige seo ar an earnáil, ó thaobh fostaíochta de, ó thaobh an phobail agus an oideachais de ná ó thaobh ár gcáil go hidirnáisiúnta. Táimid ag éileamh a) go gcruthófar Roinn neamhspleách a mbeidh dóthain acmhainní tugtha di; b) gealltanas go n-ardófar maoiniú earnáil na n-ealaíon, an chultúir agus na hoidhreachta go dtí meán-chaiteachas na hEorpa, 0.6% den OTI; agus c) go bhfoilseofar polasaí cultúir náisiúnta a mbeidh tacaíocht an phobail aige.
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    Created by John O'Brien