Sunday 17 December 2017

Irish 10-year-olds not as happy in education as global counterparts

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Irish 10-year-olds are not as happy in school as children in other countries, according to the biggest ever snapshot of the primary education system.

While 74pc of Irish fourth- class pupils agreed that they liked school a lot, that compared with 85pc to 86pc internationally.

It was among a number of more worrying findings in the report by the Educational Research Centre (ERC)

It also emerged that Irish 10-year-olds may spend so much time watching television and playing their computers in their bedrooms at night that they are not fit for school the next day.

Although Irish pupils were generally quite engaged in the classroom, many fourth-class pupils come to class too tired to concentrate, teachers reported.

Aidan Clerkin, co-author of the report, said it may be related to reports from the pupils themselves that more than half had a TV in their bedroom, and one in five had a computer in their bedroom.

The problem is more acute among boys and among children from working class backgrounds, which are also less likely to have books in the home.

The report also found that Irish children, especially boys, are less inclined to like, or feel they belong, in school.

In Ireland, 37pc of Irish 10-year-old boys were less inclined to think that they belonged in school, compared with 30pc internationally.

On the positive side, Irish pupils are more likely to feel safe in school, and less likely to experience bullying.

Within Ireland, being bullied was more common amongst boys and pupils in large schools, urban schools and schools in designated disadvantaged areas.

Parents of those children who spoke English as an additional language were very positive about their child's school, but EAL pupils were more likely than native speakers to report being bullied in school.

Irish Independent

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