Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Art Examination.


asked the Minister for Education if he is aware of dissatisfaction among vocational teachers employed in a temporary capacity regarding the method of checking and examining the drawing-from-the-life art examination; and if he proposes to take any action in the matter.

Mr. R. Burke

The marking of technical school examination papers in art, such as drawing from life, is carried out by highly qualified and competent persons in the field of art, and I am not aware of the need for change in the marking system.

May I draw the Minister's attention to the fact that the question he was asked was whether he was aware of dissatisfaction among certain classes of vocational teachers and that he did not indicate whether he was so aware? May I ask him now if he is so aware and, if so, what view he takes of the opinions expressed to him by the vocational teachers involved?

Mr. R. Burke

I am so aware. The difficulty here arises from the dual way in which people may reach the position of art teachers in vocational schools. One of these is by way of a series of the Department's technical school's examinations. There is a high failure rate in this examination of drawing from life. During the past three years the figures have been 47, 53 and 50 per cent failure. There are two reasons for this. Art students are entered prematurely for examinations and temporary whole-time teachers of art requiring qualifications in drawing from life often have no facilities to continue study in this area.

Employment as a teacher hinders full-time study in the area required. I may mention that a circular was issued to the school authorities in February, 1974, admitting that the technical school art examinations are not considered suitable for the purpose of awarding qualifications as art teachers and that it was proposed to discontinue the award of the art teacher's certificate on the results of these examinations. While there may be dissatisfaction with the suitability of these examinations for the purpose of acquiring art teacher qualifications, there is no reason for dissatisfaction in regard to the marking of an examination such as drawing from life. This is the distinction.