12 Ean 2011, 16.25

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills will examine Ireland’s ranking on the Programme on International Student Assessment with officials from the Department of Education and Skills and the Educational Research Centre at its meeting tomorrow, Thursday, 13 January at 10am.

Deputy Mary Wallace, Chair of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Skills said: “The figures released by the OECD in its PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) report last month were disappointing from an Irish point of view. The report found that the performance of Irish 15 year olds in mathematics and reading has shown a significant deterioration since the last survey in 2006. Ireland ranked 26th in mathematics and 17th in reading literacy, out of a survey of 34 OECD countries in 2009. This compares with a ranking of 16th in mathematics and 5th in reading literacy in 2006.

Given our aspiration to position Ireland as a knowledge economy, the latest statistics are unsatisfactory. The decline in mathematics and literacy standards will be a cause for concern for educationalists and also for employers and job creation agencies.

At our meeting tomorrow, we will be interested in hearing from the Department of Education and Skills and also the Educational Research Centre about what kind of remedial action and reform needs to be undertaken to address this serious problem. It will also provide members of the Committee with an opportunity to raise any issues or concerns they may have in relation to Ireland’s ranking on the Programme on International Student Assessment.”

This meeting will take place in Committee Room 2, Leinster House at 10am tomorrow, Thursday, 13 January.

This Committee can be viewed on-line at: http://www.oireachtas.ie/ViewDoc.asp?fn=/documents/livewebcast/Web-Live.htm&CatID=83&m=o

For further information please contact:

Ciaran Brennan,
Houses of the Oireachtas,
Communications Unit,
Leinster House,
Dublin 2

P: +3531 618 3903