Ireland high performer in global education report


Tuesday 3 December 2019

News type

Press releases

The results for Ireland in the OECD PISA report for 2018 show second-level students performing very well when compared with their international counterparts.

The PISA 2018 report compares the performance of 15-year-olds in 79 countries and economies. The report demonstrates that Ireland is one of the world’s highest performers in reading literacy, coming 4th out of 36 OECD countries. Students in Ireland are also performing significantly above average in maths and science.

Commenting on the report, ASTI President Deirdre Mac Donald said the findings are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the teaching profession in Ireland. “Despite coming through a decade of cutbacks, austerity and a growing student population, schools are working hard to deliver a high quality education for our young people.”

However, the ASTI President said today’s report is also a warning signal for the Government that our education system is overstretched and the level of burden on our schools and teachers is unsustainable:

“Teachers are doing much more with far less resources and this is not sustainable. The OECD report Education at a Glance 2018, published less than three months ago, ranks Ireland in last place out of 35 countries for investment in second-level education as a percentage of GDP. If we want to have one of the best education systems in Europe we need to address this gross underfunding of education in the immediate future.”

This underfunding is manifested in a below average score in the use of digital technologies in class by Irish students. It is clear that there has been too little investment in professional resources and technical support for schools in this area.

While Irish students are among the highest achievers in the OECD, the glaring need for increased investment in our school system is all too evident.


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