JOHN COLLISON, an insightful entrepreneur from Limerick, appears in a Silicon Republic eThursday interview today and offers some thoughts worth considering by Irish educators. The interview, by John Kennedy, asked John Collison how Ireland might switch more Irish teens onto technology. It's something I'm interested in as well, if only because the Irish IT sector continues producing job opportunities while others (like pharma) ruthlessly cut when the bottom line demands. John told the Silicon Republic, "Education is all about laying a good framework or foundation ... If you have a very good maths, science or applied maths curriculum, then people will do it in college." I grew up in the States and spent several weeks during two summers walking through the woods to get to college classrooms where I took pre-Calculus courses. Those courses were added onto my high school transcript and allowed me to accelerate into Calculus at the age of 16. I wonder why such a programme does not exist in Ireland? Surely there are talented Irish teenagers who would set aside some of the summer sunshine to earn academic credit. And if that credit was annotated on their Leaving Certificates, I believe Ireland would be a better place.
John Kennedy -- "Insights from a 20-year-old Irish technology millionaire" in eThursday, the Irish Independent, June 16, 2011. Photo snapped by Bernie Goldbach during Cork OpenCoffee.