On the last day on which this Vote was under consideration, I moved that it be referred back, but in consequence of a statement made by the Minister for Education, I withdrew that motion. That statement was satisfactory, so far as it went, inasmuch as it contained a definite promise that further provision would be made to meet the claims of the secondary teachers. I would like, however, if the Minister would give us more detailed information with regard to the promise which he made. I would like, especially, a statement as to the particular form which this increased grant will take—whether it will be simply an increased interim grant, whether it will be made by means of grant, such as has been the case for the past few years, or whether he, in fact, proposes—as I sincerely hope he does—to provide a definite scale of salaries for these teachers. I am sure it will relieve the minds of those most interested if he is able to give the Dáil an outline of his intentions in that particular direction. During the course of the discussion the last day, some remarks were made as to the value which the country is getting for the money which it spends on education. It has become fashionable of late to say that the country is not getting value for the amount of money being spent on education. It is extremely difficult for even those who are most intimately connected with the administration of education to express an opinion on this question. Education is not like other services, in which the results are immediately apparent. It may take years— and it does, as a matter of fact, take years—before the full effect of a particular system of education is shown. It is not when the boy is leaving school that the results of his education are apparent. That should be quite obvious to anybody who gives the matter a little thought. If people are not satisfied with the condition of education in the country at the moment, I would like that they would remember that they are getting now the results of the policy that was carried out ten or fifteen years ago in educational matters, when the provision made for education was very much less indeed than what is made now. The Minister for Education himself, on a former occasion, made it quite clear that it is not this year or next year, but in six, or seven, or ten years hence we will be in a position to say whether or not the country is getting value for the money now being spent on education.
Deputy Gorey, in his statements with regard to the position of the particular teachers referred to in this Estimate, suggested the policy of what somebody called "Robbing Peter to pay Paul." Deputy Gorey would not be so free, I suppose, in applying that same policy if Peter happened to be a farmer and Paul happened to be a labourer. He would not propose that those who had a small share of land should be provided for by taking a share from those who had a larger amount. I do not want to deal with many of the points raised by Deputy Gorey in that debate, because, like a good deal of what the Deputy says when he deals with matters of this kind, I think they were more or less irrelevant to the particular question at issue. I do, however, deprecate the statements made and the distinctions which were attempted to be drawn between one particular type of education and another. I have protested on many occasions—I think those who spoke from the other side of the Chamber, and the Minister for Education especially, generally agreed with my statements in that direction— that it was wrong to make distinctions as between what was called primary and what was called secondary education. It is quite impossible to make any such distinction and it follows that it is equally impossible to make any distinction or to draw any comparison as between the work done by a particular class of teacher and the work done by another particular class of teacher. The work done in the primary schools is not, as one Deputy stated, less onerous or less important than work done in the secondary schools. As far as the question of importance is concerned, if a comparison were to be made, it might be pointed out that, inasmuch as the great majority of our children never go to any other school than the primary school, and never have any other education provided for them, it is of the highest importance that their education in that department should be of the highest quality possible. But I deprecate any such distinctions. I do hope that this is the last time that we will have two distinct votes—one for primary and one for secondary education. I hope that when the Minister comes before the Dáil again to ask for an Estimate of this nature, that he will ask for an Education Vote which will include all the various types of departments and schools for which provision should be made—not alone so-called primary and so-called secondary schools, but also technical schools, industrial schools, and schools for defective children, and all the various types of schools that are thought to be essential to the carrying on of the work of education in the country.