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Policy issues concerning Education

Social Justice Ireland was invited to present our analysis of Budget 2017 and recommendations for Budget 2018 to the Oireachtas Committee on Budgetary Oversight.  We were also invited by the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills to discuss the Expert Group Report 'Investing in National Ambition: A Strategy for Funding Higher Education'.  Our opening statemements to both committees are available to download below.

A brief snapshot on how Ireland is performing in terms of education and lifelong learning and some policy proposals.

Substantial investment is required to ensure that everyone can access relevant education throughout their lives.  This requires further funding at all levels, and in particular Early Childhood Care and Education, adult literacy and Lifelong Learning.

The European Commission this week published the 2015 EU Youth Report. With regard to Ireland, the report reveals that Ireland recorded the highest fall in percentage points in its youth population since 2010 (-4 pp.). Ireland also recorded one of the largest proportions of young citizens leaving the country to settle in another EU Member State, although this trend is declining.

We are focussing far too much on the performance of the economy and not nearly enough on issues such as aging, social housing and sustainability, that have major implications for the wellbeing of individuals and society as a whole according to the National Social Monitor 2015 published by Social Justice Ireland.  It goes on to argue that a balance is required between the various aspects of life if the wellbeing of this and future generations is to be secured.

Education allows people to live a full life and it can be an agent for social transformation.  Education is one of the key policy areas that must be addressed urgently as part of Social Justice Ireland’s Policy Framework for a Just Ireland. A full analysis of the challenges in Education and our policy proposals are contained in our Socio-Economic Review 2015 ‘Towards a Just Society’.  The chapter is available below.

Government policies are further excluding people who are already clinging to the margins of society, according to a new review from Social Justice Ireland. The Review analyses how Ireland is performing with regard to key national targets under the Europe 2020 Strategy.

By 2025 the number of people living in Ireland aged over 85 years will have doubled. One clear implication of this will be additional demand for healthcare services and facilities. This is just one of many examples highlighted in Social Justice Ireland's National Social Monitor 2014 which highlight the need for longer-term planning by Government if Ireland is to promote the common good and ensure the wellbeing of its growing population.

Almost 1 in 5 (18%) of Irish adults aged 16-65 are at or below Level 1 on the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC).  Ireland placed 17th out of 24 participating countries on the literacy test.  Ireland placed 19th out of the 24 participating countries on

A new report by Eurofound shows how Ireland has one of the highest rates of NEETS in Europe at 22%. Greece has the highest at 35.9%, Bulgaria 24.6% AND Spain has 21.1%.  NEETS are young people aged 15 – 29 who are not in education, employment or training. 

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