Tuesday 16 January 2018

Editorial: Education has to smarten up

Suddenly our education system seems to be in a complete mess. For years the message to young people has been that the Leaving Cert is not the end of the world.

They should work as hard as they can, without driving themselves to distraction, and gather as many points as possible in the hope of getting a place in a university. But the working world is not totally made up of graduates. There are many satisfying ways to make a living outside the professions of law and medicine, veterinary surgery, teaching, accountancy or surveying. We need people to staff the service industries, the hotels, the catering and retail businesses, as well as aspiring skilled tradesmen and women to enter into apprenticeships.

Now many of those non-graduate jobs and apprenticeships are disappearing -- to be replaced by the dole or the emigration airplane. And for those who are either sufficiently bright, or have applied themselves enough, or could afford grinds to get into college, there is unwelcome change too.

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