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Education Is One Area ‘ Imitation Is The Greatest Form Of Flattery’.

If we look around the world there are countries that are synonymous with high quality education systems – Japan, Sweden and Norway to name a few. Each of these countries have a distinct educational ethos that has seen them succeed in producing students that are world renowned in high quality industry fields such as science and mathematics. The question is, if looking at education reform in Ireland, why should we not be replicating the best components of these fine examples?

If people feel there is a ‘cultural difficulty’ in evolving to suit such widespread social reform, one only has to look how quickly we managed to follow a British capitalist model through the 70′s, sinking the nation with all the fervour of a tourist on the local gargle. Our ability to align to new ideas has been very easy in the past much to our own hurt, why not now look to pick up on the great ideas other nations have to offer?

It is an idea of such benign simplicity, to replicate what works, that it seems ignorant not to act upon it. However there is no doubt that it is an idea that will never even be considered and for all the wrong reasons.

Irish political will is not one that truly believes in its own ability to administer widespread change. The hands of bureaucracy are firmly fixed around the neck of any TD or Minister who would wish to see their framework changed, no matter if it is for the better. Vision is fixed to annual budgets and town constituency offices, the appeasement of those that will keep them in line for a pension.

The best ideas of modern democracy already exist, it is our duty to recognise that and to implement them, especially when it comes to the roots of an economy which education surely is.

If we are looking to a new of living, a new way of teaching and educating, that our first step should be a large leap into irony, lets plagiarise when it comes to our education system.

By Aidan Pendlebury

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