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August 26, 2005

Open Note for Mary Hanafin

WE HAVE WORKED with the Hanafin family members because they live around these parts. Some of them read these pages so we hope they take to cousin Mary Hanafin this message: It is past the time to change and modernise the Leaving Certificate curriculum. Our thoughts mirror those of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. Our concern comes face-to-face when we welcome new students to the BSc in Computing at Tipperary Institute. We have to remedy significant deficiencies in first year students because of their decrepit background in technology subjects. The fix was recommended to Mary Hanafin's Department of Education more than a year ago but nothing has won departmental approval. The delay is a poor reflection of the department's concerns.

Moreoever, the delay reflects the a skewed funding priority. Funds always stream to the pockets of well-paid advisors and well-compensated travel expenses for civil servants. Simply changing the schedule of compensation for those two categories would free up money for lab equipment and teacher training. Perhaps the Minister of Finance has the backbone to cap mileage expenses for government reimbursement at the 1.4 litre level and day-long subsistence payments to EUR 30 while earmarking the saving for technology in education. There might be some howling but not from taxpayers, parents of schoolchildren or third level technology lecturers.


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August 26, 2005 | Permalink

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