Chambers Ireland is calling for an increased focus on innovation, design and creativity in education to deliver the necessary skills to protect future economic competitiveness.
Seán Murphy, Chambers Ireland deputy chief executive, said Ireland’s education system had fallen behind our international competition in recent years.
He cited the 2010 OECD/PISA Survey results which indicate that Irish reading levels slipped from fifth place in 2000 to 17th place, the sharpest decline among 39 countries surveyed.
“While science remained stable, in maths, Ireland fell from 16th to 26th place in the three years from 2006-2009, the second steepest decline among participating countries and ranking Ireland as below average in maths," he said.
"It has never been more important to ensure that the very significant resources that we invest in our education system are spent in a manner that ensures the best outcomes for our students. We need to have a world-class 21st-century education system that places a strong emphasis on skills-based learning that focuses on innovation, design and creativity – all core requirements for Ireland’s smart economy."
He said The Croke Park Agreement could play a role in helping achieve enhanced productivity from the sector leading to better educational outcomes for all students in the future.
“The Teaching Union leadership – especially at secondary level – must focus on this issue.”