Education spending failure - Social suicide

Education spending failure - Social suicide

Prominent figures, as they come to the end of whatever career offered them their moment in the sun, often do a farewell interview.

The generation now in that position saw huge change and often name check the milestones along that journey.

The list is obvious — free education, divorce, marriage equality, abortion, and many other less spectacular measures that made this a better, happier, more tolerant society.

It is not hard to argue that without the first liberating cage rattling, free education, none of the others would have been possible. The darkness would have endured.

In that context alone it is disheartening and regressive that the OECD can report that of 35 countries surveyed, we invest least in education.

We invested just 1.2% of GDP in second-level education in 2016 compared to the OECD average of 2%.

Ireland invested 3.5% in overall education while the average is 5%. Apart from economic and career opportunities squandered, this seems a social suicide where stasis has replaced ambition.

We, and those who gave us free education deserve much more. It’s time for some new idealism.

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