Saturday 3 December 2016

We shouldn't rob Peter to pay for Paul's basic education - if we fail to invest we will never see long-term benefits

John Walshe

Published 10/09/2016 | 02:30

Politicians respond quicker to stories about emergencies elsewhere rather than listen to and respond to arguments about the long-term benefits of investment in education (Stock image)
Politicians respond quicker to stories about emergencies elsewhere rather than listen to and respond to arguments about the long-term benefits of investment in education (Stock image)

Universities made their pitches this week for more funding following their worrying fall in global rankings. Last week, Barnardos made its case for free primary education, which should really be a no-brainer for any government.

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Next week, a new report from the international think-tank, the OECD, will confirm our class sizes are among the highest in the developed world. And the week after that, a conference in Killarney will hear that the further education sector is starved of funds.

No wonder Department of Education officials are scrambling to finalise spending plans for next month's Budget. At all levels of education, from pre-school to higher education, there is a growing sense of crisis and a hope that the Budget will address years of under-funding. But will it?

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