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Preparing Our Kids for 'The Knowledge Economy'

category national | arts and media | other press author Tuesday September 18, 2007 19:28author by C Murray Report this post to the editors

Critical Under- Investment in Education (again)

The ' Knowledge Economy' is something that many of us cannot get our heads round,
but it goes hand in hand with the idea of the Meritocracy and Computer Dependence
so beloved of the people who cannot be arsed getting out of bed and doing a day's
work. It is high dependence stuff and means in real terms, preparing kids for tech
lives and ignoring humanistic education. OECD is criticising our Government for
under-investment in our kids futures (again), with one of the lowest spends in the EU
on our kid's futures. Personally I think it is lazy complacency that allows Ministers
to underspend on National and State Schools. We don't invest in future jobs for the kids.
Joesph Beuy's Blackboards. [Tate Collection]
Joesph Beuy's Blackboards. [Tate Collection]

Just before the General Election and in the run up to the Junior and Leaving Certs, kids
were out on the streets every morning leafletting and taking part in the lovely civics process
of learning to agigtate the local politicians:-


In 2006 , FF promised 1000 Euros per child under six, but never got round to addressing
the issue of free pre-primary education to our kids, not to the issue of National Schools
having to ask parents for 'hidden fees' to support basic needs in the classrooms- like
books/photocopying- not to mention big fund-raisers for essential repairs and building
funds:- http://www.indymedia.ie/article/77792

The Primary Principals had threatened to stop asking the contributory and to enforce
the State not to abdicate in it's duty of care to invest in the future of the country by
supporting families and communities with basic, accessible educational needs.
The FF answer to everything being to widen tax bands and hope the excess leaches
off into the private sector and 2006 saw a massive critical underspend in the Department
of education and Science on the building programmes. (Ms Hanafin used be a teacher, btw).

The Traveller capitation grants were cut.

The 2003-2005 reports show how they were spent:-


The rationalising of the decision :-


we spend 6,713 Euros per child
the EU average is 6,811 per child

Taking into account wealth we are the lowest on the table. FF are currently
'thinking in' in Druid's Glen.

The resultant lack of spend has led to:-
1. A relentless mainstreaming into the tech/knowledge economy.
2.A starvation of the apprenticeship/engineering section.
3.Lack of guaranteed public service job recruitment and opening up of
specialised jobs to the EU market cos our emphasis is on tech.

The report is I.T;-

Not every child in this country wants to go into IT and Tech, some do not want to
be mainstreamed and prefer to learn a trade, and whilst the FETAC provides
some alternative to the rigorness of a too big leaving cert with no emphasis
on the humanities, it has not the guaranteed job opportunities necessary for
kids who want to do things other than be zombies for corporates. In the links
I will put the lack of funding to ed Pscyh for early interventions into dsylexia and
dsypraxia and how mainstreaming lets down kids who do have special needs
which are mostly unavailable when they hit second level.

author by C Murraypublication date Tue Sep 18, 2007 20:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors


The D.A.I has been in operation many years and have acted to increase early interventions
in childhood learning difficulites issues, to my knowledge in the last many years their
annual conference has not been attended by a sitting Minister for Education. To expand on the
last point in the piece on the mainstreaming issue:-

Early intervention in some learing difficulty situations can lead to a different view of education
for a child who is coping with differentness, the programmes generally available to kids
with dyslexia are tailored to phonics and intervention remedial/resource teaching. They can
get a reader for exams and their corrections take account of their issues. This does
not occur beyond primary level in the State service, with most secondary kids only budgetted
for one half hour a week with resource or guidance counselling. They do retain such
frredoms as exemptions from Irish and readers/separate rooms but intervention and supports
are lessened in secondary. This means they are lost in the miasma of over full classrooms
and big faculties or campuses, with little in the way of supports. In exam situations, the need
for recognition of the difficulties can lead to self-isolation of kids. They learn differently.
mainly visually.

[ also I in error wrote humanistic education instead of education in the humanities
in the first paragraph].

The OECD report is available on http://www.ireland.com

author by C Murraypublication date Sat Oct 06, 2007 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Six Labour senators have put forward a paper on the issue of setting up a National
Convention on Education in the light of the recent lack of access by parents to local
primaries:- http://www.oireachtas.ie

The Private Members Business is sponsored by;-

Alex White, Dom Hagan, Phil Prendergast, Brendan Ryan, Alan Kelly and Mike mac Carthy.

its up for debate on the 10/10/07 and is published on the 05/10/07

The business is in relation to recent problems with access to schools and they are
seeking an affirmation that no child should be denied access to education on the
basis of religion or race, they are calling for the Convention on Education to ensure
that a National Education Plan is in Place to ensure future education needs are met.
This goes hand in hand with reports in the Independent Last week that the RC
Church is in discussions to sell some of its education infrastructure interests
to the State.With up to 20% of existent schools becoming independent and an
assurance sought that the remaining religious schools will have a guarantee
that the Catholic Ethos will be a guiding principle in those schools (given by the State.)
(it does not state how this is to be achieved-- through agreement or contract, or
financial support).

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