Following his announcement that many of his proposed cuts to teacher numbers in schools serving areas of social disadvantage (“DEIS schools”) are to be reversed, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, has admitted that protests work and that he made the decision because of the huge protests faced by himself and his colleagues on the government backbenches. “[I]n relation to the area where all the pressure was coming from and all the protests was [sic] coming from …. I reflected on the impact on those schools…. and I reversed that decision,” he said.
In mid-August, Labour Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn announced both further increases to the “registration fee”, which currently stands at €2000, and the return of tuition fees, which will be payable at point-of-entry, for third level education. Coupled with the massive cuts already to the grants system, this will make it prohibitively expensive for many students to enter and complete third level education, and impose a substantial financial burden on those that do. The implications of this will be further falls in the standard of living of ordinary families and increased indebtedness for young people as they begin their adult lives. For many prospective mature students, their hopes of getting back to education will be ruined.
This is a collection of articles on Education struggles in Ireland and elsewhere over the last decade. Most have been written by anarchists and are first hand accounts of struggles the authors were involved in. We are making them available so new generations of activists could learn what worked and did not work in these earlier struggles.
Sit down protest at the Dail circa 1988, 16 students were arrested
Workers Solidarity Movement postion paper on the Student Movement as amended at Autumn 2008 National Conference
Tom Murray looks at anarchist principles of education and argues that autonomous, co-operative learning is central to our finding new ways of challenging authority and dis- covering freer, more equal ways of being in the world.
Having recently completed a seven stop all Ireland speaking tour, Vanessa Gauthier Vela answers some questions on the nature of the 2012 Quebec student uprising. This interview is a longer version of the one that appeared in the print version of Irish Anarchist Review 8. Audio from Vanessa's talks in Ireland will also be available soon.
In 2012 the attempt by the government to Quebec to introduce a 75% fee hike was defeated by the organisation of a mass student strike that lasted over 6 months. That fee increase was part of the global process of imposing the privatisation and commodification of education. Since the victory, organisers of the strike have been being doing speaking tours to aid the process whereby "youth and students everywhere are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to organize as a means to defend education as a social right". In September this tour reaches Ireland where we need to hear how a sustained and militant student movement that can win is built.
Sample audio from the tour (actually from our launch dinner & discussion on feminist organising in the strike)
Some great news for International Womens Day. The students of NUI Galway have voted Yes in a pro-choice referendum by close to a massive 70%. The wording (below) was very clear and included a mandate for action. Well done to all who campaigned in this referendum.
A Rally of education workers to call for a rejection of the Croke Park 'extension' deal will be held in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin, on Saturday next 9th March at 12 noon. The rally is bring organised as a result of an initiative from 5 branches of the Teachers Union of Ireland which called an organising meeting last week. This meeting was attended by over 60 union members, mainly branch and district officers, from the 4 teaching unions (TUI, ASTI, INTO and IFUT) as well as representatives from SIPTU's Education branch and from some other public service union.
It’s a strange anomaly that anarchism is so marginal an idea in academia despite it being a major influence on contemporary social movement praxis, as well as having been the dominant proletarian ideology worldwide for decades leading up to the Russian Revolution.