€140,000 would save jobs and secure future for more than 2,000 students
Speaking at a meeting at the Cork School of Music last night (Thursday), Fine Gael Cork South Central Senator Jerry Buttimer called on Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe, to instruct the Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) to rescind the decision to implement cutbacks at the music school which will lead to the laying off of teachers and the severe restriction of new student intake.”The Cork School of Music, which is a constituent college of the CIT, is celebrating 130 years of the provision of music and currently has more than 2,000 part-time primary and post-primary students as well as over 100 third and fourth level students. Concerns now arise about the future of the School as the CIT management has instructed the Cork School of Music to implement cuts of 2,000 teaching hours.

“Little more than a year ago the opening of the new school of music, which was one of three pilot public private partnership projects, was met with great fanfare. Many people campaigned for what is a magnificent facility, and its reputation, integrity and provision of service in terms of music reach far beyond Cork. The college has grown immensely over the years and the situation is now that a vibrant, active college, that has waiting lists for many of its courses, exists.

“The Cork School of Music management has recently confirmed to me that the result of the cutbacks will lead to:

  • Lay-offs of temporary teachers
  • No new harp enrolment
  • No new wind enrolment
  • 50% reduction in new piano enrolments
  • 50% reduction in new violin enrolments
  • 50% reduction in new viola enrolments
  • Two junior choirs being cut
  • Two musicianship classes being cut
  • Current students not being offered second instrument tuition

“The School has a vital role to play in the cultural, historical and educational lives of the people of Cork. The result of these cutbacks, and the implications from the severe restriction of new student intake, will inevitably lead to the complete dismantling of music education at the School.

“It is a concern that in a changing economic environment and in a climate where we are reducing expenditure, we are taking a stance against creativity, arts, culture and music. A mere €140,000 is needed to save the School. I am appealing to the Minister not to proceed with the cuts and to make the necessary funds available. It does not augur well in a time of economic change if we impact negatively on education.”