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 The False God of Irish Education

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PostSubject: Re: The False God of Irish Education   Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:14 pm

When we are talking about education in terms of the economy, its standards that matter rather than inspired individuals. Getting everyone literate and numerate is do-able and some countries do it.

In Germany there half the population I think are trained in a very high quality vocational sector.

Here, it is market driven in a very haphazard way. In the early 2000s a lot of Irish students were opting for IT qualifiications geared to US FDI employment. The system was very responsive and started to produce a lot of IT graduates When the dot com bubble burst the idea got around that it was a bad employment option and since then we undersupplied - people were being brought here from India because we didn't have enough people trained. There are also complaints about the quality of training/education in the IT sector.

Now, I hear people who would make great architects say they've changed their minds because of market conditions - that is cracked as it takes seven years at least to qualify.

Young Irish people seem to be very much geared to choose a course for employment reasons, and often don't have good advice even about the realities of what future employment there might be. That is something that could be improved relatively easily.

When there are people unemployed, particularly young people, the best possible thing we can do is keep them in some form of good quality training and education - even if we provided foreign language teaching free for people on unemployment benefits, it would be better than them not having anything to do.
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PostSubject: Re: The False God of Irish Education   Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:11 pm

Where is Kate P's second post? I wanted to repond to it because it was a good post. It is a pity for it to go missing.

Briefly:
- I agree education should be more than a factory for employment but the protestors were telling us that we should preserve class sizes for economic reasons.
- I agree that there is no good metric for performance testing and that a good corps of inspectors is required. There are plenty of good teachers who could do this but I don't know how we would get them together.
- I agree that time spent on special cases who are below average is time well spent. I was more addressing intent on addressing the claims of the teaching unions that education was responsible for all our wealth.
- I think it is regrettable that additional teachers have been cut. I suspect, hearing from teachers myself, that some of it was not effective in any event and that the baby may have been thrown out with the bath-water. However, I understand a lot of bath water went too. I am not qualified to comment on this which is beside the point of the general pupil teacher ratio which got my goat originally.
- The OP is probably a bit cold in its assessment of wealth creators etc. and it may not be justified either. However, it is posted in economics and I was coming at it from that point of view. I think if I were ateacher I would concentrate on those who needed my help the most even though I wold enjoy bright students more. That is a social and religious instinct for most people who like children.
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PostSubject: Re: The False God of Irish Education   Sun Feb 08, 2009 5:21 am

cactus flower wrote:


Now, I hear people who would make great architects say they've changed their minds because of market conditions - that is cracked as it takes seven years at least to qualify.

Exactly cactus. It matters next to nothing what current market conditions are like now when you are choosing a degree. You should be thinking about what market conditions will be like when you graduate. Even at that, if you graduate and the jobs market is sour, you could simply do another degree while waiting for the market to recover and gain valuable expertise while you wait. In fact now is the best time ever to choose a course in architecture as the collapse in construction will have undoubtedly stopped and have corrected by the time you emerge clutching your degree in 2016. You will walk straight into a job by that stage.
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