MONEY may not bring you happiness but Irish boys rank it far higher than girls on their list of ambitions — according to a survey conducted by teenagers themselves.
The finding that one-in-three boys surveyed would prefer to be rich compares with just one-in-six of girls. Perhaps inspired by the difficulties faced by Irish adults getting work, one-in-10 girls and boys ranked fame as their biggest hope for the future.
Asked which superpower they would most like to have, most girls wanted to be telepathic but the most common answer among boys was the ability to freeze time.
Happy was the most common answer to the question of what teenagers would prefer to be — favoured by 55% of girls and 40% of boys — while one-in-five teens of both genders said their priority was to be healthy.
The survey was completed online in class by more than 800 students in 24 schools as part of the statistics section in the Project Maths course which was piloted last year and is now being taught in every second-level school.
Second-level students around the country can take part in the latest phase of the Census at School project, with questions asking them everything from how they keep up with the news, to their travel times to school and their favourite football teams and sports.
The initiative is supported by the Central Statistics Office, whose staff will help crunch the numbers on the latest round next summer.
The questionnaire is in a similar format to the National Census forms which will be filled out in every Irish household next April.
Statistics and probability is the first phase of Project Maths being rolled out nationally by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. The schools’ census initiative is also aimed at helping teachers who did not previously focus on the optional statistics element of the old maths syllabus.
“The project meets a range of curriculum objectives, including use of the internet and computers in class. We’ll begin compiling the national data at the end of May, but each class can do its own exercises on the responses to their own questionnaires,” said Karin Whooley, co-ordinator of the National Council for Technology in Education’s Scoilnet service.
The results also reveal that mobile phones are teenagers’ most treasured gadgets, with more than half of girls and one-third of boys choosing it as the one device they would keep out of a choice of computers, TV, music players and games consoles. The survey also revealed how poorly Irish ranks as a school subject, chosen by more than a third of boys and one-in-five girls as the subject they would most like to get rid of.
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