Cork City, Ireland 1966
Hundreds of young people under the age of 16, the state prescribed age for leaving school, are employed in a variety of jobs, but to fulfill Department of Education requirements, they must attend a vocational school for one day per week. This one day system was pioneered in Cork in the 1930s and Chief Executive Officer of the City of Cork Vocational Educational Committee Paddy Parfrey outlines the educational benefits of the scheme. The one day a week gives the students an ordered disciplined routine for at least one day out of the seven…whatever literacy they had when they came to us…at least they maintain that amount and add to it. The cost of the scheme is about £20 per student annually and he considers the benefits for the students far outweigh the costs. Headmaster Padraig O’Dalaigh’s school includes an employment bureau and social work element. The boys in his school receive a practical education and are often trained according to their employment. Many of the boys have poor standards of writing, spelling and speech and all of these are worked on at their own pace.
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