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Educating Irelands Future Angela Eichmeier March 26, 14 GCU 114 Sheila Nice Mary Lou Fulton, ASU

Global Education First Initiative Introduction The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, spearheads the Global Education First Initiative ("Priorities," ). This group brings together all the leaders of the world committed to use the power and importance of education to construct a brighter future for everyone around the world. The initiatives goal is guided by three priorities all ignited by the power of transformative education. In no order, the three goals are to put every child in school, improve the quality of learning, and foster global citizenship("Priorities," ). These groups of powerful leaders aim to heighten the political profile of education and strengthen the global movement to generate funding and acquire quality education. By doing so, the Millennium Development Goals will be positively impacted with results from all eight of Millenniums development goals like eradicating hunger, lower maternal and child mortality, and helping increase the environment sustainability("Priorities," ). Priorities Every Child In School The initiative strives to put more, if not all, children in school preferably even past primary school. Attending school makes for more educated and contributive members of society increasing the countries profitability and GDP. The site commented, Millions of children who start primary school are unable to finish and still more miss out on secondary school. Today, some 69 million adolescentsin low-income countriesare

receiving no post-primary education. We can no longer afford the cost of excluding them. ("Priorities," )To put every child in school the plan is to fight and break down the barriers that are keeping parents from sending their children to school. Barriers that are included on the website are things like unaffordable costs, shortage of classrooms, gender discrimination, and child labor. With each barrier presented, there is a detailed action plan to fight the obstacles and to achieve this inspiring goal. Improve Quality of Learning Many students come out of school with basic numeric and literacy skills that cannot be applied to every day life. The students are led by under qualified and unmotivated educators that are doing a disservice to the education system and ultimately, themselves. The UNGEFI is working on fighting barriers in the education system such as shortage of qualified teachers, lack of learning materials, poor nutrition, and weak education foundations to achieve the goal of improving the quality of learning for everyone("Priorities," ). As important as getting every child in school, it is equally important to have a strong and efficient education system in all institutions. Global Citizenship The world faces global challenges, which require global solutions. It is simply not enough to produce youth that can read, write, and answer simple math questions. The UN is striving to produce innovative thinkers to answer the big questions of the day and have education be a transformative process that brings shared values to life. Education must generate more just, peaceful and tolerant societies that promote inclusivity. Connection to Ireland

Irelands Education System

Figure shows the Education System set up in Ireland.

How Ireland Stacks Up Irelands education system is well constructed and the country puts education as a high priority. Irelands primary school attendance is at a phenomenal 105% (number can be over 100 percent by having students that entered into the school system at a later age and finishing early) (Bank, 2014). Literacy for both male and females is at 99% and scores highly in reading and science with math being a not too distant high achievement(Bank, 2014). The average amount of time spent in the education system is approximately 15 years("Ireland," 2014). About 86% of students attend secondary education("Ireland," 2014). About 47% seek higher education

(tertiary) and of that 47%, 36% graduate("Ireland," 2014). Ireland is a highly literate nation that encourages the broadening of enlightenment of its people.

How Ireland Stacks up with the UN Global Education First Initiative Irelands percentage of children attending school is really a positive contribution towards to the initiative striving for better education. This country has truly done its part in making sure that education is a priority and that children attend school. One of the barriers in the first priority is a shortage of classrooms resulting in over crowdedness. The average classroom size in Ireland is only a mere 19 students ("Ireland," 2014), which is easily attainable and leads for a great learning environment. Ireland has strived to improve the quality of education and learning as well. However, teachers receive a lower than average yearly salary of about $21000 ("Ireland," 2014). The information is up to date and not outdated (one of the barriers) but no information can be found on the status of materials (i.e. shortage). However, according to OECD, Ireland spends 6.3% annual income on education with is slightly higher than the average for the world ("Ireland," 2014). As far as creating global citizenship, Ireland is working towards that as well. Global citizenship seems be the biggest area of opportunity for Ireland, more accurately Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland is highly segregated even in the education system by religion. The feud between non-loyalists, or Protestants and Catholics is a long running issue in Ireland that has led to several political, educational, and religious differences. There is still much to be done in the beautiful country of Ireland but the country does

seem to be in better shape academically than a lot of the countries surrounding its borders.

Figure shows a image of a college in Ireland.

References

Bank, W. (2014). Working for a world free of poverty. Retrieved from http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states Ireland. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com Priorities. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.globaleducationfirst.org/priorities.html