"A good education system meets the needs of all students," says a draft report by the Department of Education.
According to the Irish Times, a draft report has been issued by the Department of Education which seeks to rectify issues raised by criticism around how many students apply for University over other further education options, such as apprenticeships.
The draft report suggests altering the CAO system to allow students to apply for further education courses as well as university courses, in order to offer more of a balanced approach to the variety of options available to school-leavers.
It was reported in the Irish Times that "64 per cent of Irish school leavers currently progress to higher education, which is the highest proportion in the European Union."
It was also reported that this draft report is part of a wider plan to address a status issue when it comes to further education, with many viewing it as a second-best option as opposed to university.
The draft report also noted that the school-leaver demographic is due to grow rapidly over the next few years, so these issues will need to be addressed with a more unified education system, beginning with changes to the CAO.
Leaving school can be an intimidating process for teens - while they may be happy to leave their school years behind them, it is a challenging task to choose a path for themselves. The last thing they need to be worried about at this early stage is criticism from their peers about universities, further education and apprenticeships, as well as facing barriers to their chosen path.
This draft report is an important step towards a more unified education system with fewer barriers for all. More suggested changes to the education system include changing staff terms and conditions to provide further education courses all year round, as well as evening courses and courses which are accessible online.
According to the Irish Times, this report will be published shortly as a “stimulus for interested individuals and institutions” to provide their thoughts and views.
What do you think?