It's a day for bad news today - I do try to show the good and the bad about living in Ireland. Reports today show that Literacy levels have dropped in Ireland , according to examiners of some of last year's Junior Certificate papers. (Taken at age 14/15)
And in a separate report, an EU survey showed that Irish people have the worst record for second languages in Europe - and aren't bothered to improve their skills.
In a stinging indictment of broader education standards, the 2005 examiners say: "The most significant addition to the points made by the examiners in that year has been the observation that standards of literacy, in particular the ability to write in coherent, continuous prose, have declined."
Poor knowledge of basic vocabulary, such as the days of the week, among Junior Certificate French candidates was also identified in a series of chief examiners reports for 2005. These were published by the State Examinations Commission.
Ireland is the only EU country with no statuatory provision for teaching modern language in primary schools.