Engineers should be retrained as teachers, report says
One in five science, engineering and technology students drops out of university, a new report reveals.
The report claims that many students are ill-equipped to tackle the mathematical content of the courses. However, it is easier to get into these courses than in the past because entry points have dropped.
And it suggests that chartered engineers could be retrained as maths and science teachers, with tax breaks provided for the retraining of those who have lost their jobs.
The points have come down because fewer people are applying for the courses. For instance, the numbers applying for honours degree courses in engineering plummeted by 50pc between 2000 and 2009.
The report, prepared by an Engineers Ireland taskforce, calls for a beefing up of maths and science subjects in secondary schools. Science, it says, should be compulsory at junior level and maths and science teachers should be adequately qualified.
The report says one of the major concerns for Engineers Ireland is the lack of adequate laboratory facilities at second level.
Meanwhile, as part of Engineers Week 2010, rugby player Malcolm O'Kelly was one of 1,000 volunteer engineers who visited schools around the country yesterday to get students interested in maths.