Quality education for all

Roger Harper, Communist candidate for Hulme in Manchester, demands the education we need

SCHOOLS in Greater Manchester are in a state of decay. Crosslee Primary School was ravaged by fire last June. 300 children are still crammed into cabins, converted stock rooms and sub-standard class rooms. The fire was attributed to an electrical fault, caused by years of neglected repairs.

The roof leaks in on staff and pupils alike, and morale is at rock bottom. This is a common problem which grows daily.

The chair of education, councillor Kath Fry (Whalley Range, Labour) called on teachers in Wythenshawe not to take threatened industrial action. Nationally Labour’s education spokesperson, David Blunkett, simply echoes the Tories in calling for ‘unsatisfactory’ schools to be closed and re-opened with new teachers. This is completely derogatory to teachers and ignores the stress they are under due to increased workload, Dickensian conditions and a demoralised school population with no hope of a job when they leave.

Communist candidates in Manchester, in contrast to this, know that industrial action by teachers, supported by parents, is the only way to win the quality education we need for all. The campaign against Sats by rank and file teachers, which began in opposition to the union bureaucracy, should be the model for action today against cuts and redundancies.

Communists say that there must be comprehensive and free education for everyone who wants it from nursery to degree level. This must be quality education which demands much more funding than currently on offer. If capitalism cannot provide the education that we need then clearly it must go - not our education.