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Teachers are our best resource

Madam -- 'Teachers "not productive enough"' (Sunday Independent, April 15, 2012) is a curious headline, given that the accompanying article fails to substantiate this claim.

OECD research has shown that Irish teachers deliver exceptional value for money, and that at secondary level only five out of 28 countries have a lower salary cost per student as a percentage of GDP. Our second-level educators teach for 15 per cent longer than the European average and work with the largest class sizes in Europe.

The figures for primary level are 20 per cent more teaching hours delivered in classes that have 20 per cent more pupils.

In addition, teachers are required to carry out a wide range of non-teaching duties including administrative tasks, lesson planning, subject and whole school planning, liaising with external personnel (eg, special educational needs organisers, school inspectors), setting and marking exams, and meeting with parents.

Teachers are the most valuable educational resource we have; they do not deserve this irrational criticism.

Kevin P McCarthy,

MSc, HDE, M Inst Phy,

Killarney, Co Kerry

Sunday Independent