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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 31 Mar 1992

Vol. 417 No. 9

Written Answers. - Teaching Hours.

Jim O'Keeffe


45 Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Education the average number of hours teaching per year provided by teachers and lecturers at, (a) primary level, (b) second level and (c) third level; the total number of students at each of these levels; and the average cost to the taxpayer per student of providing education at each level.

Under the rules for national schools a teacher is required to give secular instruction for four hours ten minutes per day for a minimum of 184 days per annum or 36.8 weeks.

At second level, the teaching year is 168 days or 33.6 weeks. Teachers in secondary schools must teach for 18-22 hours per week, while vocational, community and comprehensive teachers must teach for 21-23 hours per week.

In vocational education committee third level colleges teachers are time-tabled to a maximum of 700 class contact hours annually with a norm of 20 class contact hours per week and lecturers are time-tabled to a maximum of 560 hours class contact hours annually, with a norm of 16 class contact hours per week.

Data are not readily available about the average number of teaching hours per annum of lecturers in Higher Education Authority institutions. However, unit costs studies in the Higher Education Authority sector currently being undertaken will provide information regarding student contact hours and the cost per course in each institution.

The 1990-91 provisional full-time enrolment for the different levels in institutions aided by my Department are as follows: First level, 543,744; Second level, 343,102; Third level, 68,270.

The estimated average cost to the taxpayer per student for the different levels in 1992 is as follows: First level, £1,075; Second level, £1,725; Third level, £3,325.