An eight-page document entitled The Boy Crisis in Education has been submitted by Men’s Voices Ireland to the Joint Committee on Education and Skills of the Oireachtas.
The submission outlines a wealth of literature which shows that boys are struggling in school at all levels and underachieving in comparison to girls. For example:
- The dropout rate for girls at second level was 8.4%. For boys it was 50% higher at 12.6%.
- Of people aged 25-34, 53% of women have a third-level qualification, while only 39% of men do, a 14% difference.
- Of current third-level students, only 42% are male, while 58% are female.
- There are no initiatives to advance male participation and success in education.
- At primary level, 85% of teachers are female.
- At secondary level, the percentage of male teachers has fallen steadily from 40% in 2003 to 31.7%.
The Men’s Voices Ireland submission outlines the findings of various international studies which have revealed the following factors that contribute to boy’s educational disadvantage:
- Fatherlessness is a huge problem and is strongly correlated with a range of negative behaviour problems
- The feminisation of teaching methods, the classroom and syllabi.
- Devaluation of masculinity and gender shaming.
You can see a copy of the submission here in PDF format.
The Joint Committee on Education and Skills shadows the Government Department of Education and Skills. It seeks to provide a meaningful input into legislation and policy, with a focus on seeking to ensure:
- that Ireland’s education system benefits all of society and is recognised internationally as a top class system.
the education system supports economic recovery and social renewal.
- It seeks to provide a meaningful input into legislation and policy, with the important goal of ensuring Ireland’s education system benefits all of society and is recognised internationally as a top class system.
The Committee’s chair is Fiona O’Loughlin (Fianna Fail). It’s TD members are Joan Burton (Labour), Thomas Byrne (Fianna Fáil), Ciaran Cannon (Fine Gael), Jim Daly (Fine Gael), Catherine Martin (Green Party) and Carol Nolan (Sinn Féin). The following senators are also members: Maria Byrne (Fine Gael), Robbie Gallagher (Fianna Fáil), Trevor Ó’Clochartaigh (Sinn Féin), Lynn Ruane (Independent).