“Education is the backbone of our knowledge economy. Education enables us all to reach our personal potential, and achieve an adequate quality of life. To meet the changes of our rapidly changing, globalised world, education has to be a top priority.
– We need to ensure we have enough schools and choice of schools; – We need to ensure a satisfactory student-teacher ratio. Ireland’s primary school classes are among the most overcrowded in the OECD with an average of 24 pupils per class, compared to an OECD average of fewer than 20; – We need to ensure every school has adequate resources to deliver the national curriculum.
“Yet Irish levels of investment in education are among the lowest in the OECD and lower still for primary education. For every €4 spent on primary, €6 is spent on secondary and €9 at third level.
“If we want to invest in education for everyone, surely we should be spending a greater share of our finances at primary level, which reaches just under half of the school-going population.
“Ireland is one of the few OECD countries where class sizes decrease as students get older so the research backs the call for smaller classes in primary.” Date: Thursday 22 November, 2007.