Female students' experiences more ‘negative’ about school

By Aideen O'Flaherty

A groundbreaking research report, carried out by young people to ascertain young people’s experiences of education, was launched in Firhouse Community College this month.

Over 3,000 young people shared their views in the research for the ‘So, How Was School Today?’ report, which was carried out by Comhairle na nÓg child and youth councils around the country.

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The report’s respondents were students aged between 12 and 17 years old, 69 per cent of which were in co-educational schools, 17 per cent were in all girls’ schools and 14 per cent attended all boys’ schools.

The report found that less than half of students were satisfied with the support services in their schools, while female respondents reported more negative experiences of school than their male counterparts.

The respondents also expressed a preference for active learning, which includes project work, role playing, quizzes and debates, yet only 30 per cent of respondents agreed that their teachers made learning interesting and fun.

The students also expressed a desire for improvements in the teaching methods used for maths, Irish and English respectively.

The research also found that first year students tended to be more positive about their relationships with their teachers and communication in the classroom, whereas fourth-year students were the least positive respondents in that regard.

Dublin South West TD and Independent Minister, Katherine Zappone, who launched the research in Firhouse Community College on Monday, said: “In Dublin South West we are lucky to have active schools which educate, train and inform young people by using innovative programmes away from the traditional curriculum.

“Now that young people in Tallaght, Rathfarnham, and throughout the country have spoken through their local Comhairle, we must listen.

“The programme of transforming our education system must continue.

“Our local schools with the support of students, parents and staff will, I am sure, continue to be at the forefront of the transformation.”

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