Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (21)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

21. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Oideachais agus Scileanna an bhfuil sé i gceist aige deontas céad faoin gcéad a thabhairt isteach arís chun go gclúdófar an costas a bhaineann leis an tréimhse a chaitheann ábhair oidí sa Ghaeltacht mar chuid riachtanach dá gcúrsaí; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [42351/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Rinneadh an cinneadh le deontais do shocrúcháin Ghaeltachta a stopadh le linn na géarchéime eacnamaíochta nuair a bhí gá, ar an drochuair, le cinntí an-deacair a dhéanamh chun airgead an náisiúin a chobhsú. Mar sin féin, thuig mé go maith an dúshlán atá ann do mhic léinn i dtaca le costas an tsocrúcháin.

Tá áthas orm, mar sin, go n-áirítear le Cáinfhaisnéis 2020 tiomantas chun an deontas Gaeltachta a chur ar ais do mhic léinn i gcláir oiliúna tosaigh múinteoirí atá maoinithe ag an Stát. Beidh feidhm leis an mbeart ón mbliain acadúil 2020/2021.

Bainfidh mic léinn fochéime agus mic léinn iarchéime araon tairbhe as an mbeart, a chosnóidh €1.8 milliún in aghaidh na bliana, meastar.

Tá an socrúchán Gaeltachta an-tábhachtach mar eispéireas tumtha Gaeilge do mhúinteoirí faoi oiliúint. Cuireann sé feabhas ar a gcumas cumarsáide sa Ghaeilge, i gcomhthéacs an róil a bheidh acu amach anseo mar mhúinteoirí Gaeilge agus ábhair eile trí Ghaeilge. Cuireann sé feabhas freisin ar a dtuiscint ar shaol agus cultúr sa Ghaeltacht agus ar an saol mar atá i bpobail dhátheangacha. Is chuige sin a chinn an Chomhairle Mhúinteoireachta go mbeadh an socrúchán riachtanach sa chaoi is go bhféadfadh na múinteoirí faoi oiliúint go léir ar leibhéal na bunscoile cáiliú.

Bainfidh thart ar 2,400 múinteoir faoi oiliúint tairbhe as an mbeart seo sa chéad bhliain.

The decision to stop the Gaeltacht placement grants was taken during the economic crisis when, unfortunately, very difficult decisions had to be made to stabilise the nation's finances.  However, I have been very much aware of the challenge for students around the cost of the placement.

I was very pleased therefore that Budget 2020 includes a commitment to restore the Gaeltacht grant for students in State-funded primary initial teacher education programmes.  The measure will take effect from the academic year 2020/2021.

 Both undergraduate and postgraduate students will benefit from the measure, which will cost an estimated €1.8 million annually.

 The Gaeltacht placement is really important as an immersive Irish language experience for student teachers. It is improves their communicative competence in Gaeilge, in the context of their future role as teachers of Irish and other subjects through Irish. It also enhances their understanding of life and culture in the Gaeltacht and the reality of life in bilingual communities.  That is why the Teaching Council has made the placement compulsory for all student teachers at primary to graduate.

 Approximately 2,400 student teachers will benefit from this measure in the first year.