Sunday 22 September 2019

President warns young generation must ask more questions in era of 'fake news'

President Michael D Higgins
President Michael D Higgins
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

President Michael D Higgins has warned we are overly concerned with preparing our children for the workplace, but not with asking the serious questions in a world of fake news.

Speaking at the launch of the Irish Young Philosopher Awards, in Áras an Uachtaráin, the President said that reducing our education system to "prepare our young people for the labour market", at the cost of developing analytical skills, was a "dangerous road" to travel.

He said there was "no doubt" that a "major cause" of the economic collapse was a "failure to question", adding that "fake news" distorted debate, and that children should learn to think and question from a young age.

"Do we not want to inspire our students to become engaged citizens, unafraid to question the status quo, to look beyond the barriers of perceived wisdom, to resist the easy but dangerous group-think which is responsible for so many of the injustices in our society?

"We must ensure that our children learn to think and question from a young age, rejecting the easy option of going with the flow," he said.

In a republic, dissenting voices were essential to any ethical and functioning society, and that restoring trust was one of the "greatest challenges of our times", he said.

Irish Independent

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