Private sector funds island school teaching post

Here’s an unusual instance of corporate philanthropy: an executive at Zurich Insurance has organised for the company to pay for a second teacher at a primary school on the tiny Irish island of Inis Meáin. The school was in danger of closing as it had only one teacher, but the Department of Education was not forthcoming, so now the private sector has stepped in.

This is interesting for a few reasons. First, could this happen at other schools? I’m sure there are lots of schools that would benefit from an additional teacher – what’s to stop parents who work in high places in the private sector from doing the same as Zurich Insurance? What would this mean for the Department of Education? Second, what effect (if any) might this have on the children at the school? It certainly gives them a very positive image of big corporations… Although it could be a lot worse – I vividly remember Coca Cola’s “educational” visit to my school when I was about 8 years old!

To be continued…

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