It is no surprise that PayPal is finding it difficult to find people in Ireland with the necessary language skills for the jobs they are offering.
Our education system just does not teach languages well. Students are lucky, usually by having a strong interest or a very good teacher, if they manage to become somewhat fluent in a language.
It applies to all languages apart from English. As a nation we have a huge problem with accepting that it is possible to be fluent in numerous languages. That is how most people are in the world. It is the norm rather than the exception to be multilingual. If we accept that people can speak a few languages fluently, then we should change our education system to teach four languages -- Irish plus three foreign languages.
If we do this, within 20 years Ireland can go from being a country where its people have poor language skills to a country that is renowned for its language skills. All that is required is the political will and the resources to match it.
Irish voters and parents of school pupils should insist on intensive language learning to be part of the school curriculum.
Irish Independent Seanán ó Coistín Bonnevoir, Luxembourg