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Thursday 18 September 2014

Young declare vision for Ireland

DON LAVERY

Published 18/11/2012 | 05:00

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YOUNG people want the economy to be stimulated with an emphasis on job creation – and they believe university fees should not be introduced.

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In a new report on what young people think about Ireland, they are also critical of the Government's focus on stabilising the shock from the banking crisis as opposed to stimulating enterprise.

The report, 'Being Young and Irish 2012', captures the views of almost 800 young people aged 17-28, who were requested by President Michael D Higgins to declare their vision for Ireland.

The report, produced by researchers from the Dublin Institute of Technology, spoke of the growth potential in the creative industries, with the need to harness our strengths in drama, music and dance to create a "global cultural hub".

Others were concerned that we learn from the errors of the Celtic Tiger – "where private gain has ultimately delivered the complete enslavement of generations".

Many also called for the reform of education. The second-level system encouraged rote learning, did not prepare people for active citizenship and the Leaving Certificate over-emphasised a narrow set of skills.

In relation to third-level education, the points system was criticised and there was an overwhelming sense that access to third level should be free.

On equality, young people emphasised the need for respect for individual rights and freedom of expression and many related a vision of Ireland that embraced multiculturalism.

One contribution said: "Ireland desperately needs a Constitution which represents all members of our society regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation."

Sunday Independent

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