EM – Ireland’s share of GDP spent on education is the smallest of 38 countries



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The report also found that Irish teachers are paid above the global average and that class sizes are greater than in other countries.

Katherine Donnelly email

According to a report by the Parisian Think- Tanks OECD ranks Ireland last out of nearly 40 countries in terms of national wealth it spends on education.

The focus on education systems around the world also shows that Irish teachers are paid above the global average and that the Class sizes are greater than in other countries.

The annual education report “Education at a Glance” compares the education systems in 38 OECD countries as well as in Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and South Africa .

It was published along with a special report on the impact of the pandemic on education, including significant learning losses, especially for students a us disadvantaged backgrounds.

The State of Global Education: 18 Months into the Pandemic Report says lessons must be learned from experience, including the need for a strong digital learning infrastructure.

Data on Covid-related school closings between January 2020 and mid-May 2021 show that Irish preschool and elementary schools were closed longer than the international average. On the second level, Irish schools were closed for a few days.

It states that school closings in Ireland were an average of 72 days (pre-school), a minimum of 96 days (primary school), 91 days (lower secondary) and a minimum of 72 days ( upper secondary school).

The OECD average is 55, 78, 92 and 101 days, respectively. Schools were also opened at a reduced capacity in many countries, including 19 days of partial opening to older secondary school students in Ireland, below the OECD average of 57.

About two-thirds of countries reported an increase in schools funds allocated to deal with the crisis in 2020.

In Ireland, under the € 639 million package for the 2020/21 academic year, this amounted to € 330 million.

On the main outcomes of education At a glance, the fact that Ireland spent 3.3 percent of GDP on education in 2018, the lowest of nearly 40 countries, compared to an OECD average of 4.9 percent and an EU average of 4.4 Percent

GDP is a measure of the size of the economy, although the Irish figure is likely to overestimate actual size as it includes income repatriated by multinationals.

Becoming a teacher in Ireland above the OECD average, and between 2005 and 2020, the salaries of teachers with 15 years of experience rose 16% to 17%, compared to 2% to 3%.

Female teachers in Ireland tended to earn slightly more than other female graduates while the median income of male teachers is 71 to 75 percent of other male college graduates.

Irish primary school teachers spend 909 hours more than the OECD average, compared with 704 hours in the OECD. At the second level, Irish teachers spend 704 hours teaching, compared with the OECD average of between 685 and 723 hours.

Irish primary school students spend twice as much time studying religion than the OECD and EU averages, with 10 percent of teaching hours in Ireland devoted to this subject compared with 5 percent abroad. In other countries, they also spend less than half the time doing sport as children, with 4 percent of teaching hours devoted to this subject, compared to 9 percent in the OECD and 10 percent in the EU.

Ireland is one of the leading countries in terms of literacy time and has fewer children from lower socioeconomic groups with the lowest reading proficiency – 16 percent compared to the OECD average of 29 percent.

The size of primary school classes in Ireland is above the OECD average of 21 and the EU average of 22 (2019 figures). Back then the Irish number was 24 and is now closer to 23.




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