Unemployed engineers should be teachers: Engineers Ireland

11 Feb 2010

Tax breaks should be introduced to encourage unemployed engineers to retrain as maths teachers and to enable existing maths teachers to up skill, Engineers Ireland has said.

The group has published proposals to raise maths standards among students, which include cycle level, more resources for the subject, as well as more time allocated to maths during the school day.

Engineering is just one of many sectors expressing concern at the relatively low numbers of students taking higher-level maths and science subjects at Leaving Certificate level.

Better investment is needed if a new approach to the teaching of maths, currently being rolled out across schools, is to succeed, Engineers Ireland said, adding that every maths teacher should be given 10 days of additional training.

The group also says maths and science teachers should be better qualified.

Reliance on calculators in early school interferes with the child’s ability to appreciate numbers, the report said, and called on Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe to ban their use in schools until after pupils have completed their Junior Certificate year.

Photo: Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe