Colm O'Rourke: Ireland can come top of the class again
Studies suggest that what's important is how young people are motivated to achieve their potential, writes Colm O'Rourke
The old Chinese proverb said that if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man how to fish he will eat for the rest of his life. Karl Marx is supposed to have adapted this in jest by saying that if you teach a man to fish you lose a great business opportunity.
The former statement applies to education now: an investment in education empowers people to improve themselves and by so doing will strengthen their community and country. That is what drove our parents, a belief that by giving their children a higher standard of education, those children would enjoy a better lifestyle than they had. It is no different now.
Cutbacks in education spending mean less choice. They do not necessarily mean that the whole education experience is sabotaged.