‘So, how was school today?’ Ground Breaking Research Launched
Young people respond in their thousands to have their say about school
Comhairle Na nÓg study by young people is a first
Statement by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and Minister for Education and Skills
Monday 6th November 2017
Minister Katherine Zappone TD and Minister Richard Bruton TD today launched the ‘So, how was school today?’ report. A ground breaking piece of research carried out by young people for young people.
More than 3,200 young voices had their say in the Comhairle na nÓg research which focused on the topic of Education.
There is a focus on three key areas which young people identified as needing improvement in the education system.
1. How young people experience teaching and learning in school
2. Feelings about school
3. Views on services and facilities in school
Some of the findings under these key areas were:
• 75% of young people agreed or strongly agreed that they learned best through active learning such as quizzes, learning games and role play etc.
• Young people feel that the subjects that need the most improvement are Mathematics, Irish, English, French, Science, History and Geography.
• Just under half of young people feel they are satisfied with the availability of career guidance in their schools.
Minister Zappone added: “Young people must have their say in policies, decisions and practices which impact on their daily lives. School is a huge part of their day and their voices must be heard and acted upon. This report proves that there are changes which need to happen in the Education system. It is really important for young people, teachers and government parties to study and respond to this extensive piece of research as it explains what young people need, and want to change, to make their journey through education better.’’
Minister Bruton added: “I welcome the report and congratulate Comhairle na nÓg for putting together such a comprehensive and important survey. I am keen during my time as Minister for Education and Skills, to ensure the voices of students and parents are heard within our education system. I have set the ambition to make Ireland’s education system the best in Europe within a decade and our young people provide an invaluable perspective into how we can achieve that goal. The results of this survey will feed into a growing body of research providing insight into the student experience and will most definitely lead to better outcomes for all. Indeed I have taken on board some of the points raised already. Student wellbeing for example, is a key priority of mine as Minister and we have introduced a new Wellbeing programme this year for Junior Cycle to provide students with the necessary coping skills to manage stress in their lives. We are also developing new Maths curricula at primary level and for junior cycle. The junior cycle reform brought in for the first time last year puts more of a focus on project work and team work and less emphasis on exams.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
Comhairle na nÓg are child and youth councils in the 31 local authorities of the country, which give children and young people the opportunity to be involved in the development of local services and policies.
Dáil na nÓg the National Youth Parliament of Ireland, gives young people, aged 12-18, the opportunity to represent, at a national level, the views of those under the voting age of 18.
This survey arose from the second biennial Comhairle na nÓg national showcase held in 2014, and subsequently a vote by delegates at Dail na nÓg in 2015, as a priority issue to be addressed by the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive in their work over the following two years.