asked the Minister for Education whether he can state the number of pupils on the rolls in the infants' classes in the Central Model Schools, Dublin, whether the regulation forbidding the use of English in these classes has been in operation for a number of years, and, if so why is it that the pupils so taught are not eligible for admission to the all-Irish schools conducted under the direction of the Education Office.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Infants in Central Model Schools, Dublin.
The number of children on the rolls in the Central Model Infants' School is 444 (215 boys and 229 girls). The school has been conducted in accordance with the requirements of the programme for infants' classes. There is no ground for the suggestion that pupils of this school are not eligible for admission to the all-Irish schools. The fact is that many of them have actually gone direct from it to the all-Irish schools in Marlborough Street.
Arising out of the Minister's reply may I not inquire why it is that these children, who have been taught in the infants' schools exclusively through the medium of Irish, are not eligible to go to a school where all the subjects are taught through the medium of Irish, or would it be true to say that after they have been taught through the medium of Irish that they are not fitted to be taught in the higher standards in these schools and if that is so, is not that a confirmation of the case I made to the Minister on the Education Estimates that the present methods of imparting the Irish language in the schools is not the most effective method.
No, sir, the assumptions are not correct.
May I ask the Minister whether it would not be right to say that in the City of Dublin there are parents who are bringing up their children with the Irish language as the home language and whether that does not make a very strong case for a certain amount of differentiation as between primary schools intended for the use of those children and schools primarily intended for the use of people who bring up their children with English as the home language?
Naturally, teachers in charge of the schools endeavour to see that the children who went to all-Irish schools are capable of benefiting from the instruction through the medium of Irish.