For a country that prides itself on having one of the best educated workforces in the world, you’d imagine that the latest PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) literacy ranking would have prompted a national outcry. You see Ireland’s decline of 12 places in literacy, from 5 to 17, was the worst decline of any nation. In maths we dropped ten places, the second worst performance.
Sure, there were the usual bleatings from the usual suspects. But overall it was treated the same way you’d treat the mad aunt in the garret. Move on quickly, nothing to see here. Perhaps we hoped that the world wouldn’t notice. Or some other explanation. The Secretary General of the Department of Education Brigid McManus referred to the “significant limitations in design and underlying methodology used by Pisa”.
Strange, when we topped the ranking nobody questioned the methodology.
Brigid, your typical unimaginative public sector drone (I know her) also emphasised that the results were ‘a complete surprise’. Not to me. Three and a half years ago, in this post, I forecast exactly what would happen. Entitled ‘Ireland’s education meltdown’, I made what to me was the blindingly obvious point that if you allow, nay, encourage, hundreds of thousands of immigrants who can barely speak English, you’ll have trouble educating their children. How can you teach in a school where 20 different languages are in use, as is the case in many schools today? I don't care how many support or remedial teachers you have, standards will plummet.
But language is only the start of it. We have vast numbers of Muslim and African cultural enrichers who bring their own set of problems. The former because they'll emphasise religious mumbo jumbo and learning by rote, the latter, low academic achievement due to low IQ and an inability for abstract thought. The same as everywhere else.
And then of course there’s the numbers. Our schools were built for probably quarter of a million fewer students than we now must cater for. Despite an intensive building programme the result has been crowded classrooms and a general reduction in other educational expenditure.
There was, about four years ago, an iconic piece on our local news from Balbriggan. The local primary school had inadequate places to accommodate the ballooning population. It was first come first served. So long zebra-like queues formed – zebra-like in that you saw black/white/black/white ad infinitum. End result, lots of locals got places as did lots of Africans. And lots of locals and some Africans did not get places. And the Africans didn’t like that one little bit. They complained bitterly that their ‘right’ to an education was being denied. I kid you not. And the drooling sycophants in the MSM oozed support. Nobody mentioned the (black) elephant in the room. No indeed. ‘Why could we not have planned things better?’ was the prevailing reaction.
Yeah, like not letting the hordes in at all.
So the net effect of this flood of cultural enrichment on our education system was as follows:
() Multiple languages in class
() Larger, more crowded classes
() Large numbers of low IQ blacks
() Large numbers of mindless, unthinking, mumbo-jumbo-crazed Muslims
() Significant reduction in conventional education funding (labs, computers etc.) to cater for the increased volumes and special needs.
And they wonder why our PISA performance plummeted?
Yes, they do wonder. Ms McManus said the findings were “a huge shock”. I kid you not.
And soon, just like in the USA, we’ll be wrestling with the ‘educational achievement gap’. A.k.a. ‘can we find some other explanation for poor black performance other than the self-evident one that they’re thick?’ Most recent figures from the USA show “a stark achievement gap, with only 10 percent of black students proficient in science in the fourth grade, compared to 46 percent of whites. At the high school level, results were even more bleak, with 71 percent of black students scoring below the basic knowledge level, and just 4 percent proficient.”
And they continue to be surprised.
And I continue to insist that the coming economic collapse holds out promise. Will this kind of thing be tolerated indefinitely when the money runs out? Surely there will have to be a reaction?