Sir -- In last week's Sunday Independent, May 1, 2011, Celia Larkin reported that our falling educational standards barely got a mention at the teachers' conferences over Easter due to the teaching profession's obsession with discussing pay and pensions.
The problems of our education system are not just due to lack of resources. Poor teaching and curriculum problems persist. Dumbing down, rote learning and grade inflation are producing more A1s than ever before.
But employers are finding that student certification does not match their abilities in the workplace. This is discrediting the entire education system.
Also last week, the medical profession gave an enthusiastic welcome to the new Minister for Health at their conference.
No doubt they have not forgotten the lucrative deal negotiated by Dr James Reilly in a previous incarnation representing GPs treating the over 70s, a deal that cost the taxpayer many millions.
The beleaguered victims of the Irish health system will be hoping for a similarly good deal from Dr Reilly.
In a country run by vested interests, the teaching and medical professions are among the best remunerated but most reluctant to reform, and nothing I have seen or heard shows any inclination for real change from them in this regard.