Ireland must follow the advice of the OECD and invest more in education, ASTI President Ger Curtin said today.
Speaking at the ASTI’s conference “50 Years On: Reflecting on the Legacy of Free Second-Level Education” in Dublin, Mr Curtin said that the decision to invest in the expansion of state funded second-level education in the 1960s had a profound impact on Ireland’s social and economic development.
“Since then Ireland’s second-level education system has continued to play an important role in improving the quality of life and mitigating the impact of poverty and other disadvantage on young people’s lives.”
However, he added that austerity measures implemented in schools from 2009 have hurt schools and students. “It is almost a decade since severe austerity measures were imposed on schools. These cuts have impacted in some way on each and every student going through the second-level system since 2009. These young people have had to put up with larger classes, fewer teachers, inadequate resources, and less access to key services such as guidance and counselling. History has taught us that strategic investment in education has far reaching benefits for Ireland’s economy, society and for individuals – their future life experiences, their health and so much else. The Government must act on the OECD’s 2017 report Education at Glance and make increased investment in our schools a priority.”
Speakers at today’s ASTI conference are: Áine Hyland, Emeritus Professor of Education, UCC; Ciarán Sugrue, Professor of Education, UCD; and Kathleen Lynch, Full Professor of Equality Studies, UCD. The conference moderator is former Morning Ireland broadcaster Cathal Mac Coille.