Wednesday, June 21, 2006

IBEC's worried about education

You know, if there's one group whose view on education I could not care less about, it's IBEC (Irish Business and Employer's Confederation). IBEC's worried about the fall-off in the number of students who are taking foreign languages for the Leaving Cert.

I can understand why they're so upset about it. They're worried that fewer Irish people will be able to communicate with our fellow Europeans, understand European cultures, and more generally, develop the linguistic skills that can provide greater confidence when traveling abroad.

Actually, no, they don't give a damn about any of that. All they want is not to have to provide any training themselves. They want the state to provide fully trained personnel to meet their human resources needs. Sometimes they want specifically trained technicians and sometimes they want people who can sell or handle customer calls in Spanish, French, German, whatever.

Sure it's right that students be encouraged to learn a second (third, including Irish) language, but not because IBEC says so.