Business booms for child entrepreneurs
Primary school pupils are learning valuable lessons about careers and business, writes Jerry Kennelly
As the parent of a child who is in fifth or sixth class in primary school, you'd imagine that the world of career choice and work is years away.
Before 2010, I would have agreed with that thesis. Then myself and a small team started the Junior Entrepreneur Programme and I learned how wrong I was. We had spent a few years helping second- and third-level students to learn about and practice entrepreneurship and we found we were hitting a brick wall. It was too late to change behaviour and finding time for them to concentrate on learning new concepts in their second and third-level cycle was just too difficult.
Then came the revelation. Primary school was where it was at. Fifth- and sixth-class pupils are clever, wide open to learning and spend five hours a day with the same teacher in a wonderful learning environment. Primary school teachers are very bright, open to new ideas and connected with children and their families and take a real pride in the development of young children. So, we doubled down on our efforts and recruited partner entrepreneurs across the island to help us in our task.