asked the Minister for Education if, in view of the fact that the number of students who obtained the Higher Diploma in Education in 1973 was considerably in excess of the number of new teachers sanctioned for secondary schools at the beginning of the school year 1973-74, he will advise students taking or proposing to take the Higher Diploma in Education course as to their prospects of employment.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Higher Diploma in Education.
Mr. R. Burke
I have no control over the admission of graduates to the Higher Diploma in Education courses in the universities. Secondary schools are private institutions and the appointment of secondary teachers rests with the authorities of each school.
The pattern over the past few years would indicate that the annual intake of secondary teachers ranges from 900 to 1,100. In view of the private nature of the schools I am not in a position to say how many of the vacancies would be offered to graduates who obtain the Higher Diploma in Education in any particular year.
Is the Minister aware that some time ago he informed me that the number of graduates who obtained the Higher Diploma in Education in 1973 was 1,700 while the number employed at the beginning of the school year was 900? Does he not think it necessary to bring to the notice of those who may intend taking that course their prospects in relation to employment? I think the Minister will agree that it is important that they have some idea about their employment prospects.
Mr. R. Burke
I agree with the Deputy that a useful purpose is served by his question in that it draws attention to the fact that more Higher Diploma in Education graduates are coming from the universities than we have places for in secondary schools. However, beyond drawing attention to this fact there is nothing further I can do except to stress that the number of people we can deal with ranges from 900 to 1,100 and that if we have 1,700 graduates obviously some will not be able to be placed.