Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - College of Art Examinations.


asked the Minister for Education if he is aware of the protests and serious concern by students, staff and parents concerning the conduct and assessment by his Department of recent examinations within the National College of Art.

I am aware that protests have been voiced about the assessments for entry into the diploma schools in the National College of Art. I have already on two separate occasions offered opportunity for reassessment to the students who were unsuccessful at the original assessment. Only three of the students availed themselves of these opportunities.

Is the Minister aware that when students presented themselves on the occasion of the last re-assessment the assessors were not there and did not arrive until two hours later? Would he regard that as satisfactory?

I would say that if students were interested in having their work assessed, they would hardly be annoyed if the assessors were a little late.

Two hours late.

I do not think the Deputy should be facetious about this.

I thought it was the Minister who was being facetious.

I am not. People who are interested in their own future would hardly concern themselves with having to wait for a short period of even two hours. I am not admitting that this occurred but I am saying that if it did happen it is hardly to the credit of the students concerned.

Would the Minister not agree that people who are interested in good relations would wish to be fairly punctual and would make available facilities for the reception of students' work?

I do not accept that this was the position.

Would the Minister say where they were told to put their work?

Question No. 58, Deputy Thornley.

I am very well aware of the many charges made about political considerations and so on——

Not in this House.

I am calling Question No. 58, Deputy Thornley.

——but I want to take this opportunity of refuting them.

Could we make some progress with questions? We are on Education all the time and there are other important Departments. I am calling Question No. 58.

Would the Minister not offer to cool the situation by arranging a further assessment? Would this be possible? The Minister might use his good offices again to put forward——

In present circumstances, with the college closed, I do not know that I can but, if an occasion arises, certainly I will make a further assessment available.

Question No. 58, Deputy Thornley.

One final question.

I have a lot more information I would like to give, but I have not been asked the supplementary question yet.

Question No. 58.

Could I ask the Minister, in view of the co-operation afforded by this House in respect of the Bill, whether we can be assured when we dispose of the Bill next Tuesday, as we hope we will, that he will proceed with all due expedition to the Seanad with it and get it enacted as soon as possible so that the college may be reopened?

I think I have already replied to that. I did say that, as soon as the Bill becomes law, I will endeavour to set up the board as quickly as possible and endeavour also to ensure that the board will be permitted to function. However, I shall not go into any details——

Of course not. I think the Minister did not quite take my point.

Are we discussing the Bill now? Question No. 58.

The question I want to put is as to whether, if we complete the Bill next Tuesday, as we hope we will, and will certainly try to ensure——

A discussion on the Bill does not arise on questions. I cannot see how this arises. Question No. 58. We cannot discuss this matter.

——whether proper arrangements can be made to ensure that the Seanad will deal with the Bill because I have been informed that the Seanad does not expect to deal with this Bill——

I cannot see into the minds of the Members of the Seanad.

There is a system of notifying the Seanad of impending Business and I have been informed that Senators have not been informed that this Bill may be coming up.

I really cannot see how we can go on discussing this Bill at Question Time. I am calling Question No. 58.