Colm McEvoy, chief executive, Kerry Education and Training Board (formerly VEC), said young people entering first year in secondary school this year will, most likely, retire from work in 2065, but nobody knew from what jobs they may be retiring.
“One thing that we are sure of is that most of these job titles don’t currently exist,” he said. “In some cases, the careers they’ll take on haven’t even been invented.”
He stated: “Thirty years ago, ‘apple’ was still a fruit. Fifteen years ago, ‘google’ was a funny word. The challenge for the education system is to ensure that the education we provide to our students fosters creativity and innovation and ensures that the students maximise their talents as they progress though life.”
Speaking at the presentation of his board’s annual student awards, at the Institute of Technology (ITT), Tralee, Mr McEvoy said the challenge for the education system is to ensure that education fostered creativity and innovation and ensured that the students maximised their talents as they progressed through life.
Over 200 people attended the weekend event with Karen Gearon, humanitarian and equality activist, as special guest. Seventy-eight students received awards.
Kerry ETB chairman Jim Finucane presented gold medals for best overall academic achievement to Peter O’Brien, Causeway Comprehensive School, and Róisín Ní Dhomhnaill, Gaelcholáiste Chiarraí, who both obtained 600 points in the 2014 Leaving Certificate.
Peter is currently studying pharmacy in UCC and Róisín is studying medicine in TCD.
Mr Finucane welcomed a new school award which has been introduced in collaboration with the ITT and Aspen Grove Solutions, Tralee. It involves students receiving technical training to run and manage lunchtime coding clubs in their school.
“The aim of the programme is to expose more students to the vital skill of computer coding and eventually encourage a higher uptake in third-level technology-based programmes,” he said.
Also, the family of the late Kathleen Lucey, former Irish teacher in Tralee Community College, has commissioned an award for oral Irish in her memory. It will go to the student who achieves the highest results in optional oral Irish in the Junior Certificate.
More than 3,100 students attend Kerry ETB post-primary schools, with 120 attending Youthreach centres.