Hazzard calls on UUP to demonstrate ‘leadership and political maturity’

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Wednesday, November 21st, 2012
Sinn Féin Education Spokesperson Chris Hazzard has called on the UUP to demonstrate some ‘leadership and political maturity’ in the aftermath of their failed motion on a Cross-Border education survey. Speaking to Newry Times, Mr. Hazzard said: “Today we have seen a negative motion in opposing the work done by both Education Minister John O’Dowd and his Southern counterpart Minister Ruairi Quinn in allowing children along the border area equality in attending their nearest school. “There are some children who are presently forced to travel miles in order to attend a school when a suitable school is close-by but on the ‘wrong’ side of the border. This means some children travelling over an hour each day to and from school. This has a hugely negative effect on our young people’s learning and indeed their lifestyle. “I support the Ministers attempts to bring equality to children along the border area and believe this is an excellent piece of work that will improve educational attainment along the border corridor. The South Down Assemblyman also criticised the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) for bringing such a motion to the Assembly. “I am relieved that this misguided and erroneous motion was defeated, moreover I regret the fact that there appears to be a serious dearth of educational discourse within the UUP at present. “Sinn Féin have led from the front in introducing policies and position papers on educational reform. We continue to regularly engage, debate, and discuss with individuals and groups who are interested in building an education system fit for the 21st Century. Hazzard added, “Regretfully the UUP remain incapable of engaging in a worthwhile political debate, they present no alternative and they are continuing to fail our young people. “I would call on the UUP to show leadership and political maturity as we move forward in building an education system for all our young people, not merely for an elite minority.”
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