Tue, Nov 29, 2011, 00:00

What's the talk of education?

Lots of you responded to last week’s To Be Honest, “I was lectured on my sexuality”

The education system needs to break from religion. – @misterrrebby

This is intolerable in the 21st century. – @theresareidy

Schools need to fix themselves, fast – @clairehennessy

A number of people who I went to university with found it hard to work in Catholic schools and found it hard to find work in any other school. That’s because the church founded the schools and it’s pretty sure that the State cannot afford to buy them off the church fully. So, as long as they are Catholic, they’ll teach Catholic ethos and staff will say prayers. This is not a problem that is unique to those who are gay, either. The absolute bunk my friend had to teach about biology was an affront to the long years she spent toiling at a science degree. To then have to say a prayer for all the babies that were going to die because of some law in a far-flung country not being passed to prevent abortion was more or less the final straw for her. She quit. And she’s a great teacher. But there are other ways to teach, after all. – DerPixie,

One of the many reasons we need to secularise our education system – @burlygeinstein

You also wrote about proposed grant cuts

Surely there should be a look at other ways of funding education. It is obvious from recent reports that a graduate-loan-style system is not the way to go forward, as debts escalate for recent graduates in the United States. However, there should be serious consideration given to a graduate tax, of somewhere between 3 per cent and 5 per cent once a beneficiary of third-level education is employed in this country. It is something that should be looked at: if it isn’t feasible, fair enough. I paid the majority of my course fees (up to master’s level), and we are lucky that our fees in comparison to other English-speaking countries’ are as low as they are. The current system clearly doesn’t work. – Morgan MacDonnachadha,

If the Government cuts funding to Irish universities, where’s Australia going to get graduates from? – Sean C,

They have these things out there called jobs and student loans. I had to do them to get my degree. Stop moaning – Roberto Mancini,

If we were able to remove underperforming academics and curb some of the bonuses, pensions and increments, we probably would be able to direct the savings towards student needs. If we could save paying universal child benefit to the well-heeled we more than likely would be able to afford paying the deserving. It’s a question of having the backbone to differentiate. My biggest fear is that when it comes to the redundancies in February it will be on a first-in-first-out basis as opposed to holding on to the good people regardless of seniority. – Siavash Sefidvash,

We don’t value anything we don’t pay for. If an education has value, then the recipient of that value should pay for it. I would much prefer to see students operate under a long-term-loan scheme. They might spend less time in the pub and more time investing in what they paid for. If a student (given the means via a loan) is not willing to pay for their education, what does that say about their commitment? – Paul Lanigan,