Keith pointed to a doc from the Irish Institute for European Affairs called The Next Leap. I barely agree with any of it. Too much blueskying and sound bites. Too much investing in talking shops and new industry bodies.
Some of the “key action points” from the report and my thoughts.
Commit the funding required to provide sufficient connectivity and equipment to bring Irish schools up to the OECD average, and exempt all school ICT equipment from VAT
Laptops in classrooms is a waste of resources. Laptops outside of school as a policy is needed. Laptops in schools should not be a stepping stone for this. The new whiteboards in schools are already gathering dust in many schools because the basics aren’t being done right. How many Irish speakers do we have because of Irish in school? Putting subjects in digital format does nothing extra. Though it’s a handy number for the sponsors of this report.
Kids need to be
thought (ironic I know) taught how to teach themselves, how to discover, how to analyze, how to think. That’s what will get us our knowledge economy. Not HP laptops running Windows.
Support “niche exploration” groups to investigate possible areas of national expertise
Quango quango quango.
Introduce weighted marks at Leaving Certificate level for ICT relevant subjects
Extra points for maths and other subjects to corrupt the system in favour of IBEC like industries? That will get us more kids under pressure to do these subejcts and do honours. More time spent on these than the “easy” subjects. We’ll be in SAT country next instead of a holistic approach. Maths is not education. It will also get more grind schools making lots more money for Maths classes and the like and from it all they’ll do is teach the kids tricks on how to do well in the Leaving Cert, not educate them on the subject. It’s a dog training school that will come out of this.
Establish a Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) within DCENR
Cos they did so well with our broadband future. Why the hell should tax money be wasted on this?
Re-task RTE as an incubator & developer of media content irrespective of platform
Yes, cos we want the civil service to use even more of our tax money. Let the private sector do this.
Convene a taskforce to discuss an optimal national strategy to promote Ireland as a location for localisation services
Did Dell teach us anything? This is not high-level work. This is grunt work. It can be moved outside of Ireland quickly. Many of the tech companies are already doing so.