070. Make primary education actually free

Primary education is supposed to be free. However, the reality is that it isn’t. In fact, it’s nowhere near free! According to Zurich Insurance who measure this sort of thing, in 2018, it cost an average of €830 per child per year to go to primary school.

While some people may not believe this figure, and I was one of them, when I actually calculated things for myself, I was surprised to find that the cost was fairly accurate. Between supposedly voluntary contributions, paying for books, uniform costs and so on, the costs really add up.

The DES need to stop pretending primary education is free and start paying the costs properly. The DES only provides about 60-70% of the funds to run primary schools and the rest needs to be made up by fundraising. 

There are lots of other areas where primary education can be free. We could also scrap uniforms and schoolbooks. However, these are smaller areas. Essentially, the DES need to start funding things properly.

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