Sunday 25 February 2018

New vision and ambition needed for Ireland’s education system - DCU president

Professor Brian MacCraith of DCU
Professor Brian MacCraith of DCU
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

A new vision and ambition is needed for Ireland’s education system, rather than relying on a piecemeal approach to reform, according to Dublin City University president Professor Brian MacCraith.

He told a conference of second-level principals that the  education debate in Ireland was still centred on a lot of the things that were being discussed 40eyars ago, including Junior Certificate reform and religion.

Prof MacCraith said that as Ireland emerged from a  lengthy period of austerity  it was time for a step-change in the approach to education and it was “ imperative that we develop a bold, new ambition for the system”..

The DCU president  said most advances in the education system were “incremental in nature and lack the strategic vision so necessary to guide this country to a new era of prosperity”.

Speaking to the annual conference of  National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), he called for a “move from the slow, incremental approach to education improvement to a decisive approach focusing on a step-change.

He said such a vision was of critical importance for education early childhood to third- and psit0-graduate level – and the absence of   an overall strategy would ultimately hamper our nation's recovery and the sustainability of our future.

With his eye on the upcoming election, Prof MacCraith predicted that “ the political party that takes the bold decision to place a new and ambitious vision at the heart of their policy manifesto for the next election is likely to reap a great harvest of public support.

He said fundamental to a sustainable Irish economy and a healthy society was investment in education, at all levels.   Multi-nationals,  innovation and indigenous startups were  all dependent on a thriving, world-class education system which was geared towards developing leaders, critical thinkers and problem solvers, he said.

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