Mitchell O’Connor welcomes OECD PISA results as a signal of better things to come

Fine Gael Dun Laoghaire Deputy and Chair of the Fine Gael Internal Education Committee, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, has welcomed the results of the latest OECD PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) report which shows that Irish students are doing well when it comes to reading and are progressing when it comes to maths and science.

“The OECD PISA report results for 2012 are very encouraging and show that out of 34 OECD countries, our 15 year old students now rank 9th for science; 4th for reading and 13th for maths. These results outline that Ireland is performing above average in maths and science and that we are moving in the right direction when compared to the result achieved in 2009.

“By ensuring that we continue to make strides in terms of literacy and numeracy, we remain focused on rolling out the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy. To that end, an additional €9 million has been made available in Budget 2014 so that we can reach our goal of ensuring that every child leaves school with high levels of literacy and numeracy.

“While any improvement in scores is to be welcomed, the fact that a small decline in the average scores across the OECD countries in maths has been recorded, which has allowed Ireland to score above average, will not be lost on anyone. It is imperative that we continue to focus on the most effective ways to encourage learning in maths and positive results.

“Recovering the ground that was lost in 2009, in respect of reading and maths, is a strong signal that what we are doing, we are doing right. In getting the economy back on track, we are focused on attracting, through the Action Plan for Jobs, companies in sectors that have the potential for growth, such as the pharma and IT sectors. This makes learning maths and science even more important so that we can ensure that we have the graduates to fill the jobs that are being created.

“Everyone who is involved in the education sector, who has responsibility for the improvements shown, is to be commended for their efforts. It is essential that we continue this good work into the future and to push Ireland’s scores further up the charts in the years to come.”

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