Ritchie says education issue is key

IMPROVING educational standards right throughout Northern Ireland is key to unlocking the future potential of our economy, accprding to SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie.

The South Down Assembly candidate said, “A wide ranging record of educational attainment will encourage investors to Northern Ireland, keep the small to medium sized businesses viable, and ensure that we have the talent to provide for our public and professional services.

“The education debate has in recent times been overtaken by the issues surrounding selection and transfer from primary to post primary schools. We hear less and less about the issues facing teachers and pupils when it comes to obtaining an acceptable standard of literacy, numeracy and discipline within our schools.

“Returning three SDLP MLA’s from South Down to the Assembly will assist the SDLP in tackling the real issues facing people of this constituency and other parts of Northern Ireland. We would like the opportunity to secure the education ministry, to tackle the issues that now confront education.

“The SDLP wants to see an end to the wrangle over selection, we want to see underachieving children achieve in all areas, and a focus on assisting teachers and schools in the area of discipline.

“The SDLP wants every child to have the opportunity to choose the educational route appropriate for them. We will look to tackle the issue of low attainment and discipline and the crumbling schools estate and ensure these are adequately provided for.

“The continuing development of education across all sectors is a vital tool in developing our economy for this and future generations.”