Irish spend ‘more time in class’

Irish children spend more time in class each year than those in most other European nations, a study shows.

Our primary education system is almost unique for the near-equal amount of time given to maths teaching as that dedicated to literacy.

The European Commission report compares data from its Eurydice network and the OECD, focusing on recommended annual teaching times in all 28 EU member states and six other counties.

The 923 hours spent by Irish children in an average year, across the age range of compulsory education from six to 16, is one of the highest in Europe. Only five other countries require children to spend more than 900 hours per year throughout primary and second- levels — Denmark, Netherlands, France, Italy, and Wales.

In Ireland, 183 hours a year for primary pupils is compulsory for reading, writing, and literature in English or Irish, whichever is the language of tuition. Fairly equal numbers of other countries teach either more or less literacy during each year of compulsory primary education.

The time on English at primary level here makes up 20% of total compulsory teaching time, compared to 17% for maths (153 hours). The gap is one of Europe’s narrowest, the difference being also less than 5% in only Iceland and Poland.

This may be tied to time for literacy in primaries here being lower than in all but three European countries.

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Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s. https://www.facebook.com/PopsceneCork/You've Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

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