[lg policy] Ireland: 2 Comments on "A new plan for education"

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 21 15:18:43 UTC 2011

A new plan for education

Madam, – Seán Flynn (Education Today, March 15th) highlights several
areas for reform in the Irish education system, but not one of the
most obvious.

Our education system does not develop our best talent. Gifted or
“exceptionally able” pupils are ignored in the Irish education system.
While the US, China, India and many European countries have specific,
government-mandated provision, we insist that the most able pupils in
our classrooms must wait while everyone catches up with “the basics”.

No wonder China topped the OECD Pisa study! It was pleasing to see for
the first time in the current programme for government, recognition of
the specific needs of exceptionally able pupils.

Further progress in this area has the potential to raise student
performance across the board. The new Minister is the man for the job.
– Yours, etc,


Gifted and Talented Ireland,


Irish Gifted Education Blog,


Irish Gifted Education Blog,

C/o Woodford Drive,


Dublin 22.

Madam, – It was most refreshing and encouraging to read Seán Flynn’s
advice to the new Minister for Education (Education Today, March 15th)
regarding “breathing new life into the Irish language”.

It is a rare experience to read the direct clarity of the message
“overturning 90 years of failed Irish language policy”. Those of us
who speak and love the Irish language and value it as a gateway to the
land of our forefathers, are aware of the malign effect of this policy
on generations of young people.

We have had nearly a century of State compulsion, even, for a time, to
the extent of “no Irish, no job” in the public service.

We have had bribery in the form of grants to Irish-speaking homes, and
jobs as translators for Irish language university students, in the
pretence that it is necessary to use tons of paper for translations of
legislation, to be read by a person or persons unknown.

However, “an rud is annamh is iontach”, so full marks to Mr Flynn. The
question is, will Ruairí Quinn, or any other Minister, stand up to the
Irish language lobby and its phalanx of support organisations? The
Taoiseach seems already to have backed down on compulsory Irish in the
Leaving Cert. – Yours, etc,


Glenageary Woods,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.


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