Tuesday 24 October 2017

School inspectors find weakness in teaching of Irish and maths

Katherine Donnelly Education Editor

SIGNIFICANT weaknesses in the teaching of Irish, and a lesser extent, maths, have been found in schools.

Communications with parents is another area where schools must do better, according to a new report.

The most comprehensive picture ever of what is happening in Irish schools was published today.

The Chief Inspector’s Report 2010-12 gives a detailed overview of the quality of teaching and learning, based on visits by inspectors to 93pc of primary and post-primary schools over the period.

It also includes the findings of surveys of parents and pupils on their experiences of the system.

The report expresses particular concern about the teaching of Irish at both primary and post-primary level.

It also points to weaknesses in maths teaching at post-primary level – but there is a hope that the new Project Maths syllabus will overcome those problems.

Department of Education chief inspector Harold Hislop said a “very significant” 24pc of Irish lessons in primary schools were less than satisfactory.

Similarly, in post-primary schools the quality of teaching was “satisfactory or better” in only 72pc of lessons, and in some cases teachers’ own skills in the language were deficient.

It found that the quality of learning in Irish was problematic in 32pc of cases – as many as one in three students.

The report also highlighted issues around maths in post-primary schools.

In 20pc of schools there were deficiencies in planning and preparing for teaching the subject, the quality of  teaching was only “satisfactory or better” in 77pc of classes and the quality of learning was less than satisfactory in 26oc of lessons.

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said while the report acknowledged all the good practices taking place on a daily basis in schools, it also showed a system “screaming for reform” in some areas.

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