Won’t somebody think of the children
The communists in Prussia in 1928 used the slogan “after Hitler, us!” and encouraged their supporters to vote for the nazis under the banner of ‘the worse the better’. Its an enduring myth that as things become worse with regard to equality the prospects of liberal reformation are enhanced. They don’t necessarily and the better things become for the elite the better they become for the elite, most often at the expense of everyone else. I would have thought that has become obvious over the last few years in Ireland.
Gonzaga used to do O levels instead of the Inter Cert, they switched to the Junior cert when that came in. I think there was a class that did neither.
I don’t see why A levels would become popular in areland given how focused it is (on 3 subjects)
There is a cohort of parents who believe that students should specialise as early as possible to focus on their “chosen career”. For example, parents who believe that their 15-year-old is going to be a doctor might not see the point of studying English, history, Irish, French, maths and geography when they could be focusing on biology, chemistry and one other subject.
I think that’s pretty wrongheaded personally – the longer people wait to specialise the better all-round education they’ll have – but I can see it being a popular option. And asking a 15-year-old to make career-limiting decisions can’t be a good thing.
Nah let’s leave the system as is. It show the kids that most of the private sector in this country requires a sizable chunk of government support to remain viable.
Sadly I think you’re bang on
It’s hard to envisage it panning out any other way. And in all of this discussion I have not once heard anyone, anywhere, map out a potential future with better education for Irish children by changing the way schools are funded.
The debate and the demonisation of private schools has been driven by two sets of vested interests
- The TUI who want to protect their member’s income and see the private sector as a way to make cuts elsewhere (tax that other guy)
- Labour TD’s looking for votes in lower-income areas
Nobody in all of this has come forward with an argument for the betterment of our education system, because there is none. There will be no winners, only losers.
The losers, for the record, will be
- children moved from schools where they are happy in the middle of their education
- parents who either bankrupt themselves paying exorbitant fees, or else have to explain to the kids why they are taking them from their school
- teachers who lose their jobs and won’t be re-hired elsewhere in the system
There’s a number of schools in the public system moved to iPads. It’s a great idea.
Crickey, my handwriting is poor enough, I’d hate to think what it’d be like if I had been using an iPad since Junior Infants
That works both ways. I succumbed to parental pressure to not limit my choices at 15 and it was definitely a mistake. The school I attended grouped optional subjects into three groups of three subjects for the Leaving Cert. One group was Accountancy, Business Organisation and Economics, another was Chemistry, Biology and Physics and the third was Geography, History and Art. They were timetabled such that you could choose to take all three subjects from one group if you chose. I knew where my aptitudes and interests lay and i wanted to take all three from the first group but my parents, with my best interests at heart, encouraged me to only take two from a single group and one from another group. So I took Physics instead of Economics, hated it, failed it and have regretted it ever since.
Yep, it’s €100 a year for books etc. with my 2 schoolgoers at the moment. I expect that will increase in time as books become heavier and more complex. so say maybe €1200 over the 8 years of primary?
I’d be happy to replace all those heavy books with a tablet in more senior classes…some of the kids have trolley bags
They have a full set of iPads per every 2 classes (all the way up). So the teachers co-ordinate which class is using the iPads when in the day. In practice this is the first year that JI use no textbooks at all, so they use the iPads more than the older ones. I suspect they’ll have to add some more once textbooks are done away with completely.
They also have 30 Macbooks for the 5th/6th class students and 3 iMacs in the library that they got with Tesco tokens. All the classrooms I saw had a PC at the teacher’s desk, presumably so they can post on the Pin during class
Edit: from their presentation doc:
Yeah, definitely some people know what they want to do and there’s no point forcing them to study other stuff. I just meant it as a general thing.
I as able to juggle the schedule in my school to take every single science/maths related LC subject, with the exception of Home Economics
True enough … back in my time there was an assumed big split between what we’d now regard as “Tech” and “Business” orientated subject streams in practically all secondary schools.
It was just taken (and hence timetabled) that if you did Art and History you were not doing Physics or Chemistry, if you were doing Construction Studies or Technical Drawing you were not doing Commerce or Home Economics etc.
Fully private schools with no constraints place on them by the Dept of Education will seek to:
- Maximize profits
- Streamline processes as much as possible
- Establish a reputation for getting kids to university
An intensive A Level focused system makes a whole lot more sense than the Leaving Cert or the International Bacc.
I’m not sure about the first point - schools with a long history and heritage, and with a strong ethos and culture, are not going to turn in to profit-driven enterprises overnight.
The rest makes perfect sense. But could a focus Leaving Cert not achieve the same thing? Drop Irish which is massively time-consuming, focus lots of effort on the hard subjects and take a couple of easier ones to get the points in the bag. Don’t bother with CSPE and Religion at any level.
Now you are giving the pupils there a massive advantage over everyone else.
I think a fully private day school would have to charge closer to é20k, and perhaps more, depending on the teacher ratios, subjects and facilitates expected. Thats the sort of fees you see elsewhere in the world.and often much more.
The leaving cert could achieve the same result, but at a significantly greater cost to the school. You need to buy in more expertise to offer topnotch instruction in a wider range of subjects.
Also you have future technicians learning useless poetry, and future poets learning futile maths. The leaving cert is dreadfully inefficient.
Depends what you are trying to achieve. It’s “inefficient” in turing out specialised 18-year-olds. It does, however, ensure that everyone knows a bit of poetry. Which is not a bad thing – 3rd level is the time to specialise.
I’m open to correction but I think there are strict rules about sitting Irish in the Leaving Cert (at least at the first attempt and if you are not a mature student or someone who has had a significant part of their schooling outside Ireland). I don’t think schools would be able to just drop it.