I am consistently impressed by the ability of young people to make appropriate career choices and to take on life’s many challenges.
Year after year, the Leaving Cert cohort goes on to excel in further and higher education, and then goes on to make a significant contribution in the world of work.
The claim by Minister Simon Harris that students are leaving school without sex education, digital skills, financial literacy and climate knowledge would surely be dismissed as ‘blah, blah, blah’ by someone like Greta Thunberg. And I would agree with her as all of these societal issues and many more are entwined in the second-level exam and non-exam curriculum.
Mr Harris must surely be aware that sex education is alive and well in subjects like biology, religion, social and personal education and in the dialogue of teenagers, who are full of the joys of life. Sex education is primarily the responsibility of parents. Schools do their share against the background of the school’s ethos and religious denomination.
Teenagers are well aware of their own physical and emotional development during adolescence. The vast majority progress seamlessly through this transition from childhood to adulthood and go on to participate in the joyful experience of relationship building, leading to friendship, love and commitment. This is an exploratory journey which can’t be taught in isolation by a graphic overhead in a classroom, despite what Mr Harris might say.
Tralee, Co Kerry
One issue that does not seem to be getting much coverage at COP is population growth.
With just under eight billion people living on a planet with finite resources, we are leaving no space for biodiversity and using all the resources that sustain our existence.
It seems to me our population will need to be reduced, either voluntarily and planned by man or unplanned by nature.
People have been found guilty in the case of appalling violence against Kevin Lunney, thankfully. While justice has been served to some degree, we can but hope he and his family will find solace in the fact the whole country, north and south, has been and is full square behind him in his quest for resolution to the awful crimes he has suffered.
He has conducted himself with dignity and courage since he survived the assaults, and hopefully he and his loved ones will find peace in the aftermath.
Bantry, Co Cork
The anti-Trump narrative is not working for the Democrats. The results on the biggest day of polling till next year’s US mid-terms are a crushing blow to them.
Defeat in the Virginia governorship race and a narrow victory in New Jersey were seen as a de-facto referendum on Biden’s presidency.
More worrying for the Democrats is that these are Blue States which could potentially become Red States.
The anti-Trump narrative is clearly running out of steam and the country’s political pendulum seems to be swinging back to the right.
A red wave could very well roll in at next year’s mid-terms unless the Democrats start focusing on positive campaign plans of attack.
Voters are primarily concerned with increased costs of food and fuel caused by inflation, there is continued frustration with schools, supply chain gridlock, crime and healthcare.
The Democratic party should be more proactive in encouraging the electorate to vote Democrat – a big minority of the electorate don’t even turn up on polling days.
More voters voting Democrat means bigger majorities in both Houses which will translate as more progress on the trillion-dollar spending programmes which will transform society and push millions of Americans out of poverty in the coming years.
You can’t scare people into the polls, you have to give people something to vote for. Alas, time will tell.
Whatever about driving an electric car, just imagine the length of the extension lead required?