Committee on Finance. - Vote 29—Office of the Minister for Education.

Tairgim:

Go ndeonófar suim nach mó ná £642,230 chun slánaithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31ú lá de Mhárta, 1965, le haghaidh Tuarastail agus Costais Oifig an Aire Oideachais (lena n-áirítear Forais Eolaíochta agus Ealaíon), le haghaidh Seirbhísí Ilghnéitheacha áirithe Oideachais agus Cultúir, agus Ildeontais-i-gCabhair.

That a sum not exceeding £642,230 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1965, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Office of the Minister for Education (including Institutions of Science and Art), for certain Miscellaneous Educational and Cultural Services, and sundry Grants-in-Aid.

Tá ins na seacht Vótaí go bhfuil mise freagrach iontu £25,519,170. Is méadú é sin de £2,168,550 ar an soláthar don bhliain airgeadais roimhe seo tar éis Meastacháin Bhreise de £1,185,210 a thógaint san áireamh. Tá £2,400,000 á chur ar fáil faoi Vóta 9—Oibreacha Poiblí agus Foirgintí—le haghaidh tithe scoile náisiúnta a thógáil, a mhéadú is a chóiriú. Lena chois sin caithfear Meastacháin Bhreise a thabhairt isteach ar ball chun íoc as méaduithe tuarastail do mhúinteoirí nach raibh socair nuair a hullmhaíodh na bun-mheastacháin. Timpal £2,425,000 a bheidh ins na meastacháin bhreise sin. Is ionann san ar fad is a rá go gcaithfear os cionn £30,000,000 ar na seirbhísí oideachais sa bhliain airgeadais reatha. Má deirim gur níos lú ná £16,000,000 a chaitheadh sa bhliain airgeadais 1957-58 tuigfear go bhfuil an caiteachas chóir a bheith dúbalta laistigh de sheacht mbliana.

Tabharfaidh mé anois don Teach roint fíricí agus figiúirí i leith na Vótaí éagsúla.

OIFIG AN AIRE OIDEACHAIS— VÓTA 29.

Séard atá sa Vóta seo ná soláthar le haghaidh (a) costaisí riaracháin na Roinne agus (b) na seirbhísí a bhíodh go dtí bliain ó shoin faoin Vóta ar leith a bhíodh ann don Eolaíocht agus Ealaín.

Naoí gcéad seachtó is dhá mhíle, dhá chéad is tríocha punt atá á iarraidh, agus is méadú é sin de £78,080 ar an soláthar don bhliain roimhe seo.

Trí nithe go príomhdha ba bhun leis an méadú sin, mar atá:—

(1) An soláthar don fhoirinn bhreise go mba ghá a cheapadh chun freastal ar an leathnú ar na seirbhísí oideachais agus soláthar le haghaidh incrimintí tuarastail don fhoirinn i gcoitinne;

(2) Na seirbhísí a chuirtear ar fáil ag an Roinn Poist agus Telegrafa. Tá socair anois go gcaithfidh gach Roinn a scar féin de chostaisí na seirbhísí seo a sheasamh;

(3) Scoláireachtaí ollscoile: faoi oibriú Acht na Scoláireachtaí, 1961, titfidh costas breise ar an Stáit de £21,450 i mbliana.

Tá soláthar á dhéanamh don chéad uair i gcomhair costaisí na Comhairle Dearthóireachta a bunaíodh i mí Meán Fómhair seo caite chun comhairle a thabhairt maidir le gach gné den dearthóireacht, go háirithe, dearthóireacht i gcúrsaí tionscail.

Tá méadú de £1,000 ar an deontas don Acadamh Ríoga Ceoil, agus tá méadú de £5,000 ar an soláthar do na coláistí a chuireann cúrsaí Gaeilge ar fáil i rith an tsamhraidh.

BUNOIDEACHAS—VÓTA 30.

Ceithre mhilliún déag, sé chéad nócha a naoi míle agus dhá chéad punt méid glan an Vóta. Tá an tsuim seo £849,700 níos mó ná suim na bliana anuraidh, nuair a chuirtear san áireamh meastachán breise de £1,170,000. An chuid is mó den méadú sin, ba le haghaidh tuilleadh tuarastail a thabhairt do na hoidí é de bhárr cúrsaí Idir-réitigh agus Eadrána. Bhí de thoradh ar na méadaithe tuarastail seo, stádas na n-oidí i gcoitinne a ardú i measc an phobail. Cosnóidh sé £1,600,000 sa bhliain chun an "naoú babhta" dena hardaithe tuarastail a thabhairt do na hoidí náisiúnta; beidh gá le meastachán breise ina chomhair sin.

Sa scoilbhliain dar chríoch 30 Meitheamh, 1963, bhí 14,218 oidí ar fostó i scoileanna náisiúnta, i gcomórtas le 14,091 díobh sa scoilbhliain roimhe. Dá bhrí sin, thárla méadú 664 i líon na n-oidí le cúig bliana anuas, ó 13,554 ar 30 Meitheamh, 1958. Bhí 501,981 daltaí ar na rollaí i scoileanna náisiúnta ar 30 Meitheamh, 1963, méadú 1,187 ar an bhfigiúr a bhí ann cothrom an lae sin 1962.

Is maith an dul-chun-cinn a deineadh anuraidh maidir le scoileanna nua a sholáthar agus dea-bhail a chur ar scoileanna eile. I rith na bliana airgeadais seo caite, ceadaíodh deontais de £3,093,031 i leith céad is a dó dhéag scoileanna nua agus céad dachad a dó mór-scéimeanna méadaithe agus feabhsaithe. Seo barr saothair nár baineadh amach ariamh roimhe. Soláthrófar áiteanna nua le haghaidh 20,854 daltaí scoile de bharr an tsaothair seo. I gceantracha a bhfuil an pobal gann iontu agus mar a bhfuil éigcinnteacht ag baint leis na riachtanais scolaíochta fá chionn cúig bliana déag nó fiche bliain, tá leas á bhaint as foirgintí adhmaid atá réamhdhéanta chun cóiríocht chompórdach scoile a sholáthar do na daltaí.

Beidh cuimhne ag Teachtaí gur cuireadh feabhas ar an gcoibhneas oide/dalta gach bliain le cúig bliana anuas. Dá thairbhe sin, tá méadú sé chéad seasca a ceathair ar líon na n-oidí anois, mar atá luaite agam. Níl deireadh fós, áfach, le fadhb na ranganna plódaithe sna scoileanna móra faoi na bailte móra agus cé gurbh fhéidir liom faoiseamh éigin a thabhairt dóibh siúd gach bliain le dhá bhliain anuas, chonnaictheas dom nár mhiste dlús a chur leis an bhfeabhsú. Do chinneas, mar sin, go ndéanfadh cigirí mo Roinne suirbhé de na ranganna móra fá Bhaile Átha Cliath, ós é sin an áit is mó a bhfuil ranganna plódaithe ann. Tá rún agam an líon daltaí a laghdú iontu chun go ndéantar inláimhseála iad.

Tá fúm sin a dhéanamh tré na ranganna d'atheagrú; ach in aon áit nach féidir an t-atheagar a chur i gcrích gan dochar do chúrsaí oideachais, chuirfidh mé rangsheomraí réamhdhéanta ar fáil agus ceadóidh mé ceapachán pé oidí breise atá riachtanach. Fá chionn na bliana seo beidh ó nócha go céad rangsheomraí réamhdhéanta agus fán tuairim chéanna d'oidí curtha ar fáil i scoileanna fá Bhaile Átha Cliath. Nuair a bheidh an suirbhé sa réigiún sin críochnaithe, tá beartaithe agam ceann cosúil leis a chur ar bun sa chuid eile den tír.

Ina theannta seo, is ábhar pléisiúir dom a bheith in ann eolas a nochtadh faoin seú ceann sa tsraith feabhsúchán i gcúrsaí foirne. Tá socair agam feabhsú na bliana seo a dhéanamh sna scoileanna sin a mbíonn raon fóirne ó chúigear go dtí aon duine déag acu, óir is iontusan is airde an coibhneas idir oidí agus daltaí. Ón chéad lá de Dheireadh Fómhair, 1964, is mar a leanas a laghdófar an riachtanas inrollaíochta don aicme seo scoileanna:—

An ceathrú cúntóir—200 in áit 210

An cúigiú,,—250,,,,265

An séú,, —300,,,,320

An seachtú,, —340 gan athrú

An t-ochtú cúntóir—350 in áit380

An naoú,,—400,,,,420

An deichiú,,—450,,,,460

Cuireadh tús anuraidh le soláthar leabharlanna tagartha i scoileanna náisiúnta. Bhí fiche míle punt ar fáil chuige agus chuir an tsuim sin ar mo chumas leabharlanna tagartha a bhunú i scoileanna náisiúnta sna contaethe Muineacháin, Liatroim, Laois, Luimneach agus Portláirge—tuairim is sé chéad dachad scoileanna ar fad. I mbliana, tá an soláthar i leith leabharlanna méadaithe agam go dtí tríocha cúig mhíle púnt. Cuirfidh an tsuim seo ar mo chumas leabharlanna a bhunú i níos mó ná míle dhá chéad scoileanna eile. Seo leanas na contaethe atá roghnaithe agam: Sligeach, Roscomáin, Tiobraid Árann, Longfort, an Clár, Iarmhí, Ua bhFáile, Cill Manntáin, Loch Garman agus Lughbhaidhe. Lena gcois siúd, cuirfear leabharlanna i scoileanna na gcontae-bhorg Luimneach agus Portláirge. Is rún dom leabharlann a chur i ngach scoil náisiúnta laistigh de chupla bliain. Na leabharlanna seo, i dteannta seirbhísí iasachta na n-údarás áitiúil, cuirfidh siad fairsinge leitheoireachta ar fáil do na daltaí scoile bíodh siad ar thóir an tsuilt nó an tsochair. Agus an soláthar méadaithe seo dá chur ar fáil agam, is ábhar mór dóchais dom an fháilte fhonnmhar a fearadh roimh an scéim. Ba mhaith liom, ag an bpointe seo, mo bhuíochas a chur in iúl do na húdaráis áitiúla agus go háirithe do na leabharlannaithe contae sna cúig contaethe inar cuireadh tús leis an scéim as ucht ar thugadar de chomhoibriú agus ar chaitheadar de dhúthracht i dtionnscnamh na scéime.

Ba mhian liom le tamall maith anuas na deontais le haghaidh téamh agus glanadh scoileanna náisiúnta a fheabhsú. Is cúis áthais dom, mar sin, a fhoilsiú go bhfuil £100,000 eile sa soláthar i mbliana agus go bhfuil £237,000 ar fad ar fáil le haghaidh na ndeontas seo. Ba chóir go gcabhródh an soláthar fónta seo chun feabhas mór a chur ar chúrsaí téite agus glanta in ár gcuid scoileanna.

D'fhonn cuidiú leis an Aire Rialtais Áitiúil sa bhfeachtas atá ar bun aige chun na bóithre a dhéanamh slán. tá coiste idir-roinneach curtha ar bun agam leis an cheist a scrúdú maidir le sábháilteacht ar bhóithre a theagasc do na páistí scoile, agus le moltaí ina thaobh a dhéanamh liom. Ba i gcomhairle leis an Aire Rialtais Áitiúil agus an Aire Dlí agus Cirt a bunaíodh an coiste seo agus tá ionadaithe ó na trí Ranna páirteach ann.

Is féidir obair oideachais a bheadh thar a bheith éifeachtach a dhéanamh i gcúrsaí sábháilteacht ar bhóithre ach saothar a bheadh rialta agus bríomhar a chur ar bun sna scoileanna. Chabhródh sé sin go mór chun taismí bóthar a sheachaint agus, sa deireadh thiar chun glún óg a oiliúint a bheadh cúramach, ciallmhar agus eolach ag dul na bóithre dóibh.

MEÁNOIDEACHAS—VÓTA 31.

Ceithre mhilliún, dhá chéad seasca is dhá mhíle agus sé chéad punt an meastachán glan don mheánoideachas. Is ionann é sin agus £517,600 de mhéadú ar an méid a vótáladh anuraidh. Le deontais do scoileanna, tuarastal múinteorí agus scoláireachtaí iarbhunscoile is mó a bhaineann an méadú sin. Níl aon soláthar ann do na méaduithe turastail do mheán-mhúinteoirí i leith stádais agus an "naoú cúrsa" a ceadaíodh le déanaí. Cuirfear meastachán foirlíontach don mhéid atá i gceist—tuairim is £725,000 —os comhair na Dála in am tráth.

Tá dhá chúis leis an méadú ar na deontais. An chéad chúis díobh is ea an méadú atá ag teacht i gconaí ar an líon daltaí atá ag freastal ar mheánscoileanna agus an dara chúis is ea na rátaí méadaithe deontais chaipitíochta. Ní dheallraíonn sé go bhfuil aon mhaolú ag teacht ar an bhfás ar líon na ndaltaí. Ag cruinniú luathais atá sé agus an t-iomlán don bhliain seo—beagnach 90,000—tá sé 4,300 níos mó ná an tiomlán don bhliain seo caite. An méadú a deineadh sna rátaí caipitíochta is ionann é sa mheán agus méadú de tuairim is 20%.

Tá airgead breise a sholáthar do bhreis-tuarastal chun freastal ar an bhfás ar líon na múinteoirí agus imeacht ar aghaidh na múinteoirí ar an scála incriminteach. Sa scoil-bhliain reatha tá breis-tuarastal dá íoc le 3,734 múinteoirí cláraithe. Clárófar 300 eile ó mhí Lúnasa seo chugainn. Tá na h-uimhreacha sin níos mó faoi dhó ná na huimhreacha a bhí ann cúig bliana déag ó shoin. Tagann méadú cuí ar líon na múinteoirí do réir mar a thagann méadú ar líon na ndaltaí, ach is mó ná sin i mbliana an méadú ar líon na múinteoirí de bharr na socruithe speisialta atá déanta agam maidir leis an gcoibhneas idir múinteoirí agus daltaí. Cuirfidh na socruithe nua seo ar chumas scoileanna teagase a thabhairt i réimse níos leithne ábhar. Ón lú Lúnasa seo chugainn sé an cóta de mhúinteoirí i gcóir tuarastail a bhéas ann ná duine amháin in aghaidh gach cúigear déag daltaí in ionad an chóta atá ann faoi láthair, sé sin, duine amháin in aghaidh gach cúigear déag daltaí suas go dtí seasca daltaí agus duine amháin in aghaidh gach fiche dalta ina dhiaidh sin. Chomh maith leis sin, aithneofar, ó thaobh tuarastail a íoc, an tArdmháistir nó an tArdmhaistreás taobh amuigh den chóta.

Oibriú Acht na nÚdarás Áitiúil (Scoláireachtaí Oideachais) (Leasú), 1961, agus an méad atá feidhm dá bhaint as sin ag Comhairleacha Contaethe agus Contae-Bhuirg is ea is cúis leis an méadú ar an líon scoláireachtaí. Scair an Stáit chuige sin— £77,500—tá sé níos mó faoi dhó beagnach ná mar bhí sé anuraidh. Ba mhaith liom breith ar an bhfaill seo chun moladh a thabhairt do chomhaltaí na n-údarás áitiúil de bharr a ndearcadh i leith scoláireachtaí.

Céim mhór ar aghaidh maidir le h-airgead a chur ar fáil don mhéanoideachas a b'ea an fógra i rith na bliana go raibh beartaithe ag an Rialtas go ndéanfadh an Stát deontais thógála do thabhairt go díreach chun meánscoileanna a thógáil agus a leathnú. Do réir na mionscéime a fógraíodh le déanaí tabharfar, faoi réir rialachán áirithe, deontais a chlúdóidh suas le 60 per cent de chostaisí aisíochta a bhaineas le hiasachtaí is riachtanach chun meánscoil a thógáil nó a leathnú. De bhrí nach gcríochnófar sa bhliain airgeadais reatha aon obair thógála go mbainfeadh an scéim leis ní gá aon soláthar airgeadais a dhéanamh i mbliana.

I rith na bliana deineadh tosnú le cláracha teilifíse do scoileanna le dhá shraith a bhí bunaithe ar na cúrsaí i bhFisic don Mheánteistiméireacht agus don Ardteistiméireacht. Is mór an t-uchtach é an t-éileamh atá ar na cúrsaí sin, mar ghlac ochtó faoin gcéad de na scoileanna go mbainfeadh na cláracha leo páirt iontu. Beartaítear scóip na gcláracha a leathnú ó thaobh ábhair agus éagsúlachta dhe sna blianta atá le teacht.

Dheineas tagairt anuraidh don tsraith chúrsaí samhraidh do mheánmhúinteoirí. Tá méadú mór dá dhéanamh ar líon na gcúrsaí sin i mbliana agus tá an soláthar dóibh imithe ó £1,500 go £6,150.

Tá na cúrsaí tráthnóna Ollscoile do mhúinteoirí Matamaitice agus Eolaíochta gur bliain is faid dóibh dá reachtáil i mBaile Átha Cliath, i gCorcaigh agus i nGaillimh agus tá breis is 600 múinteoirí ag freastal orthu. Leis an mhórshuim sa nuadhearcadh i leith múineadh na Matamaitice bhraitheas gur gá soláthar a dhéanamh do mhúinteoirí ná beadh i ndon freastal ar na cúrsaí tráthnóna sin. Tá socruithe déanta agam, mar sin, go dtionólfar chúrsaí speisialta sa Mhatamaitic, gur faid dóibh ceithre seachtain an ceann, i mí Iúil seo chugainn ag roinnt ionad ar fud na tíre.

Gné mhór eile de na cúrsaí i mbliana is ea go reachtáilfear dhá chúrsa conaithe ceithre seachtaine sa bhFraincís san ionad nua do theangacha atá dá chur ar bun i gColáiste na bProinsiasach, Rinn Mhic Ghormáin. Ag na cúrsaí seo sé is mó a luífear air ná na modhanna is nua aimsearaí maidir le múineadh teangacha. Tá Rialtas na Fraince trén a gcuid flaithiulachta ag cur beirt shaineolaí ar fáil a bhéas ag comhoibriú leis an Athair Colmán Ó hUallacháin ag stiúradh na gcúrsaí. Tá slí do 40 múinteoirí ag gach cúrsa díobh. Is mór an t-uchtach an téileamh ar áiteanna ag na cúrsaí. Is mó ar fad an téileamh ná an líon áit atá ar fáil. Tá fúm a shocrú go reachtáilfear a lán eile cúrsaí den saghas seo sna blianta atá le teacht dtreo is go bhféadfadh gach múinteoir go mba thairbheach dó é freastal ar chúrsa. Níl aon dabht ach sa tslí seo go dtabharfar spreagadh breise do mhúineadh teangacha sna scoileanna agus go gcuirfear an múineadh sin ar bhonn i bhfad níos fearr.

Sara n-imeóidh mé ón mheánoideachas ba mhaith liom tagairt a dhéanamh do rud eile atá le tamall fada ag cur as dom. Is é rud é ná chomh gairid is atá an scoilbhliain i gcuid mhaith de na meánscoileanna. Ní mór dúinn i saol na linne seo saol na mór-iomaíochta—bheith ullamh chun an dúthracht agus an dianiarracht céanna a chaitheamh len ár saothar as atá na tíortha eile atá in iomaíocht linn. Is den riachtanas é, mar sin, nach lú ní hamháin ábhar ár scoil-chúrsaí ach chomh maith leis sin, faid na gcúrsaí sin ná ábhar agus faid na gcúrsaí i dtíortha eile. Dá bhrí sin tá moltaí maidir le scoil-bhliain mhinimum de dhá chéad lá curtha faoi bhráid na scoil-chumann aithinte agam. Is áthas liom a rá go bhfuil san iomlán na freagraí atá faighte agam go dtí seo fábharach do na moltaí sin.

SCOILEANNA COIMSITHEACHA.

Nuair d'fhógair mé mo phlean i gcomhair iar-bhun-oideachais thrácht mé go speisialta ar na ceantair sin den tír nach bhféadfaí i leith an oideachais sin freastal orthu faoin gcóras atá ann faoi láthair. Is ins na ceantair sin a bheartaigh mé scoileanna coimsithe do bhunú. Sul a bhféadfaí dul ar aghaidh leis an mhion-phleanáil b'éigin aontú i bprionsabal d'fháil do na nithe bunúsacha a ghabhfadh leis na scoileanna san. Tá áthas orm é do bheith le hinsint agam go bhfuil na nithe bunúsacha san socair anois. Beidh coiste bainistíochta do gach scoil ar a mbeidh ionadaí a ainmneoidh an tEaspag agus a ghníomhóidh mar Chathaoirleach, an príomh-oifigeach feidhmiúcháin don choiste gairmoideachais agus ionadaí an Aire Oideachais. Léiríonn an réamhshuirbhé atá déanta go mbeadh gá le scoileanna coimsitheacha i gceantair áirithe ins na Contaethe, Cabhán, Dún na nGall, Liathdrom, Muigheo, Gaillimh, An Clár agus Iarthar Corcaighe. Tá an mhion-phleanáil tagaithe go dtí an pointe gur dócha go mbeidh ar mo chumas i gceann roint seachtainí na h-ionaid ina mbeidh na céad scoileanna coimsithe d'fhógairt.

GAIRM-OIDEACHAS—VÓTA 32.

Is maith liom é bheith le tuairisciú agam go leanann i gconaí den bhforbairt agus den dul chun cinn sa ghairmoideachas. Sa scoilbhliain 1962-63 bhí 29,689 daoine óga ar chúrsaí lánaimsire oideachais sna gairmscoileanna, cúig faoin chéad de mhéadú ar an líon a bhí ann an bhliain roimhe sin. Ar chúrsaí teicniúla le haghaidh printíseach — scolaíocht pháirtaimsir-each í seo—bhí 4,542 i gcomparáid le 3,955 sa bhliain 1961-62. Agus ar chúrsaí éagsúla lae, seacas iad siúd atá luaite agam, bhí 7,330, ocht faoin gcéad de mhéadú ar fhigiúr na bliana roimhe sin. Ar ranganna agus cúrsaí oíche, bé líon daoine a bhí ann don bhliain 1962-63, beagnach seasca míle, a cheathair faoin chéad de mhéadú thar an líon don bhliain roimhe sin. Tá fás fós ar an líon scoláirí ar na cúrsaí agus ranganna éagsúla sa bhliain reatha seo, agus nuair a bheidh na figiúir ar fáil ag deireadh na scoilbhliana inseoidh siad a scéal féin.

Comhartha eile ar an bhforbairt is ea líon na múinteoirí a fostaíodh sa scoilbhliain dheireannaigh, i gcomórtas le mar bhí sa bhliain roimhe sin. An líon múinteoirí lánaimsire a bhí ar fostú sa bhliain 1962-63—1,826—ba mhó de 76 (nó a ceathair faoin chéad) é ná líon na bliana roimhe sin agus, i dtaca le múinteoirí páirtaimsire de, bhí 255 de mhéadú ar a líon thar mar a bhí bliain roimhe sin. Míle, ocht gcéad, nócha agus seisear de mhúinteoirí páirtaimsire a bhí ann sa bhliain 1962-63.

Níl sa mhéid sin ach cuid dena figiúir a léiríonn an fás. Críochnaíodh aon cheann déag de nuafhoirgintí scoile sa bhliain dár chríoch 31 Lúnasa, 1963, agus cuireadh tuilleadh cóiríochta le scoileanna a raibh gá lena méadú mar gheall ar an éileamh atá ar an ghairmoideachas. Idir scoileanna nua agus méadaithe le scoileanna a bhí cheana ann, soláthraíodh cúig cinn agus seachtó de rangsheomraí breise sa bhliain atá faoi thrácht agam.

Ní i líon na scoláirí agus i méadú cóiríochta amháin, áfach, a léirítear an fhorbairt a rinneadh agus atá á dhéanamh, ach in éagsúlacht na seirbhísí oideachais a sholáthraítear. Tá mo Roinnse ag obair i ndlúthpháirtíocht le Ranna Stáit eile agus le heagraíochta éagsúla chun an freastal is fearr a dhéanamh trí na gairm-scoileanna ar fhorbairt eacnamaíoch na tíre. De bharr comhoibrithe leis an gCeard-Chomhairle, mar shampla, leathnaíodh go mór ar na saoráidí atá ann d'oideachas printíseachta. Tionscnaíodh cúrsaí speisialta de phrintísigh chlódóireachta ar fud na tíre— ceann acu sa Choláiste Teicneolaíochta i Sráid Bholtúin, Baile Átha Cliath, agus ceann eile san Instiúid Oideachais Teicnicigh i gCorcaigh. Rinneadh scrúdú agus breithniú ar riachtanais thionscal an troscáin, agus cinneadh ar dhá scoil speisialta a bhunú le haghaidh oiliúna sna ceardanna a bhaineann leis sin. Tá an dá scoil sin— ceann ar an Uaimh agus ceann i gCathair Chorcaí—beagnach i gcóir chun na printísigh a ghlacadh iontu.

Ag an gceann eile den saol tionscalach, bhí comhar ag mo Roinnse le hInstitiúd Bhainisteoireachta na hÉireann chun go mbainfí feidhm níos leitheadaí as an gcóras gairmoideachais maidir le cúrsaí ar léann agus ealáin na bainisteoireachta a chur ar fáil. Dá thairbhe sin, leathnaíodh ar an obair a dhéantar i Scoil na Bainisteoireachta i Ráth Maonais, i Scoil na Tráchtála i gCorcaigh agus i Scoil na Tráchtála i Luimneach. Bunaíodh cúrsaí ar bhainisteoireacht den chéad uair sa Cheardscoil Chathartha i nGaillimh. D'éirigh go maith leo. Tá comhchoiste curtha ar bun, a bhfuil ionadaithe ó mo Roinnse air, chun soláthar oiriúnach maidir le cúrsaí i mbainisteoireacht a dhéanamh, ar bhonn réigiúnach, tré na gairmscoileanna.

Ba liosta len áireamh iad, agus ba mhór é an díol ama a theastódh le cur síos orthu, na slite inar leathnaíodh ar obair na ngairmscoileanna ar fud na tíre. Ar éigin atá Teachta sa Tigh seo, measaim, nach bhfuil fianaise aige air sin ina dháilcheantar féin.

Go dtí seo is ar an fhás nádúrtha ar an gcóras mar atá sé le blianta maithe anuas a bhí mé ag caint. Ábhar sásaimh, gan aon amhras, an fás sin, ach is léir liom go bhfuil an t-am tagtha ina gcaithfear bunathraithe móra chun leasa a dhéanamh ar chóras na ngairmscol meáneistiméireacht haghaidh iarbhunscolaíochta a d'fhoilsigh mé i mí na Bealtaine seo caite, leag mé béim ar dhá rud go speisialta i leith an ghairmoideachais: an gá a bhí ann leis an gcúrsa lae a shíneadh i dtreo is go mbéadh ar chumas daltaí na ngairmscol meánteistiméireacht agus ardteistiméireacht a bhaint amach ar an gcaighdeán chéanna atá i bhfeidhm do lucht a chomhaoise sna meánscoileanna; agus an gá atá le soláthar níos leitheadaí a dhéanamh d'oideachas teicneolaíochta. Maidir leis an gcéad rud acu siúd, is maith liom gur féidir liom a rá go bhfuil an chéad dréacht den chlár le haghaidh na hArd-Teistiméireacht Teicnicí curtha faoi bhráid An Chumainn Ghairmoideachais in Éirinn agus Chumann na nGairm-Mhúinteoirí, le haghaidh a dtuairimí. I dtaca leis an Meán-Teistiméireacht de, tá coiste d'oideachasóirí ag obair go dícheallach chun clár oiriúnach a dhéanamh amach do scrúdú Meán-Teistiméireachta a d'oirfeadh do idir aos léinn gairmscoileanna agus aos léinn meánscoileanna. Tá na siollabais le haghaidh cuid mhaith de na hábhair léinn réidh lena gcur i láthair na n-eagraíocht cuí oideachais.

Ó thaobh an oideachais teicneolaíochta dhe, mhínigh mé gurbhé ba rún dom roint áirithe de choláistí réigiúnacha a bheith ann ar fud na tíre. Is iad na háiteacha atá im intinn agam do na Coláistí sin: Baile Átha Cliath, mar a bhfuil dhá cheann cheana; Corcaigh, Ceatharlach, Luimneach, Gaillimh, Portláirge, Sligeach, Dún Dealgan agus Áth Luain. Táthar ag dul ar aghaidh leis na réamhshocraithe. Mar gheall ar go raibh toscaí ann a d'fhág an-oiriúnach é go raghfaí ar aghaidh le coláiste réigiúnach i gCeatharlach níos tapúla ná in aon áit eile, tá moltaí curtha ag mo Roinnse go dtí Coiste Gairmoideachais Chontae Cheatharlach i dtaobh na cóiríochta is ceart a sholáthar san choláiste réigiúnach atá á phleanáil agus cuireadh tugtha don Choiste teacht i gcomhairle le hoifigigh de chuid mo Roinne maidir leis an bpleanáil. Ní ceart a mheas as sin, áfach, nach n-aithnítear go bhfuil práinn le coláistí mar seo a bhunú sna hionaid eile atá luaite agam. An t-eolas a bhaileofar le linn pleanála an chéad choláiste, beidh sé tairbheach maidir le pleanáil coláistí in ionaid eile.

Sara gcríochnaím mo chaint ar ghairmoideachais, is ceart dom tagairt a dhéanamh do cheist an tsoláthair múinteoirí. Ábhar imní é ag daoine áirithe nach mbeidh le fáil don obair sna scoileanna, do réir mar bheidh sí ag leathnú, riar cheart de mhúinteoirí cáilithe. Is ceist í sin a bhfuil staidéar agus machnamh géar déanta agam uirthí agus, cé go n-aithním gur gá bheith ag faire go síor sa scéal, ní dóigh liom gur gá dúinn aon imní ná eagla mhór bheith orainn. Ceann de na rudaí ba chúis le gan oiread céimithe ollscoile a bheith ag dul le gairm-mhúinteoireacht agus ba mhaith liom do b'ea iad a bheith gan eolas ar an taobh seo den tseirbhís mhúinteoireachta seo. D'fhonn an scéal sin a leigheas, chuaidh cigirí de chuid mo Roinnse go dtí na coláistí ollscoile i dtús na bliana seo, gur labhair siad le fochéimithe i dtaobh na gairm-mhúinteoireachta, agus thug eolas dóibh a spreag a suim ann. De bharr na gcuairteanna seo, agus i láthair an mhéadaithe atá déanta anois ar thuarastal na ngairm-mhúinteoirí, tá gach uile dhócas ann go dtiocfaidh tuilleadh céimithe isteach sa tseirbhís. Maidir leis na haicmí múinteoirí nach céimithe iad — múinteoirí ábhar praiticiúil — beidh gá le modhanna eile, seachas na modhanna atá ann faoi láthair, chun iad a fháil. Bhí comhráite agam cheana féin le hionadaithe na gcoistí gairmoideachais agus le hionadaithe na múinteoirí faoin scéal seo ar fad, agus beidh mé ag plé leo arís go luath slite áirithe atá ar intinn agam le deimhniú go mbeidh leorsholáthar de mhúinteoirí oiriúnacha ann don bhrainse seo den tseirbhís seo.

SCOILEANNA CEARTÚCHÁIN AGUS SCOILEANNA SAOTHAIR— VÓTA 33.

Dhá chéad caoga sé mhíle is ocht gcéad púnt atá á lorg faoin Vóta seo don bhliain airgeadais 1964-65. Tugann an meastachán £27,150 de mhéadú ar an mheastachán don bhliain airgeadais seo caite. Is é is cúis leis sin ná go bhfuiltear tar éis méadú de 10/- an dalta i n-aghaidh na seachtaine a thabhairt do na scoileanna le héifeacht ó 1 Samhain, 1963. Tagann leath an mhéaduithe sin as an gCiste Phoiblí agus bíonn na hÚdaráisí Áitiúla freagrach as an leath eile. Is iad na rátaí i leith an dalta atá iníoctha anois:—

Ón Stát

Ón Údarás Áitiúil

s.

d.

s.

d.

Scoileanna

saothair

27

6

27

6

Scoileanna

ceartúcháin

30

0

28/- go29/-

Le blianta beaga anuas tá an líon daltaí sna scoileanna ag titim do réir a chéile agus is mar sin atá i mbliana freisin. Míle cúig chéad seachtó is seachtar cailíní agus 1,523 buachaillí a bhí sna 45 scoileanna saothair ag deireadh 1963 i gcomparáid le 1,753 cailíní agus 1,608 buachaillí ag deireadh 1962. Céad is tríur déag de bhuachaillí a bhí sa scoil ceartúcháin ag deireadh 1963 i gcomparáid le 127 ag deireadh 1962. Tháinig méadú, ámh, sa líon cailíní a bhí san dá scoil cheartúcháin do cailíní. Fiche is seachtar bhí ionnta ar 31 Nollaig, 1963 1 gcomórtas le beirt is fiche ar 31 Nollaig, 1962.

Tá a scoileanna náisiúnta féin i 17 de na scoileanna saothair agus maidir leis an 28 eile, tá socrú ann leis na páistí iontu bheith ag freastal ar scoileanna náisiúnta taobh leo.

OLLSCOILEANNA, COLÁISTÍ AGUS INSTITIÚID ARDLÉINN BHAILE ÁTHA CLIATH— VÓTA 34.

Dhá mhilliún, naoi gcéad ochtó is aon mhíle, naoi gcéad punt méad an mheastacháin don bhliain 1964-65, figiúr is mó de £615,730 ná Vóta na bliana seo caite. Is le caiteachas ar chóiríocht agus ar ghléasra a bhaineann £443,000 den mhéadú sin. Tá an chuid eile den mhéadú, £172,730, déanta suas mar a leanas: £63,000 le haghaidh oideachais fhiaclaigh, £11,000 le haghaidh oideachais chógaisíochta, £7,500 de bhreis le haghaidh oideachais shaolta i gColáiste Mánuat, £3,000 de bhreis le haghaidh Coláiste na Máinlia, £12,920 de bhreis don Institiúid Ardléinn Bhaile Átha Cliath, agus ansan suimeanna airgid, gur iomlán dóibh £75,310, a bhaineann, ar an chuid is mó dhe, le méadú ar fhoirne ollscoileanna le freastal ar an bhfás atá tagaithe ar an líon mac léinn atá ag fáil ollscolaíochta. Chuaigh an líon mac léinn atá ag freastal go lánaimsire ar an hollscoileanna agus coláistí i méid ó timpeall 9,400 sa bhliain 1958-59 go dtí thar 13,000 sa bhliain 1962-63.

Toisc go bhfuil cúrsaí ard-oideachais á n-iniúchadh ag an Choimisiún agus go mbeidh tuairisc ón Choimisiún sin roimh dheireadh na bliana, ní bheadh sé cuí go n-abróinn a thuilleadh ag an bpointe seo faoin ghné sin den oideachas.

AN tÁILÉAR NÁISIÚNTA— VÓTA 35.

An seacht míle déag céad is seachtó punt atá á iarraidh faoin Vóta seo, is mó de £1,420 í ná suim na bliana seo caite. Sa ghnáthshlí i leith pá agus tuarastal a thagann an méadú seo ann.

I move:

That the Vote be referred back for reconsideration.

It is less than ten weeks since we had a discussion on the Estimate for 1963-64 and we then fully covered all the curriculum of the Minister's Department. I want to criticise this Estimate for its omissions rather than for its inclusions. For the first time in the history of this State, no reference whatever has been made in the Minister's Estimate to the Irish language. When we discussed the 1963-64 Estimate, we postponed any discussion on methods of revising the Irish language, pending the publication of the Report of the Commission that had just been announced during the period of the discussion on the Estimate and I looked forward to hearing from the Minister to-day whether he proposed accepting all or any of the findings of the Commission but there is no mention whatever of the Minister's policy in regard to the findings and no mention of the findings.

One thing which strikes me in dealing with the Irish language is that the university scholarships which are confined to students from Irish-speaking homes have been reduced from £67,050 last year to £45,600 this year. We are reducing the scholarships made available to pupils of Irish-speaking homes by the significant sum of approximately £22,000. The subsidies to publications in Irish have also been reduced by £5,000. Do we intend to throw our hat at the revival of the language by reducing the provision for scholarships for the children of Irish speakers? I shall deal with that later. I merely mention it now as one of the omissions from the Minister's speech on the Estimate.

In the Press over the past three weeks, one of the matters of controversy is the dispute between the secondary teachers and the Department of Education. No reference whatsoever is made to it in the Minister's speech. I looked forward to hearing the Minister to-day possibly giving us the outline of the cause of the dispute, telling us what steps he had taken for the holding of the Intermediate and Leaving Certificate examinations, what steps he had taken to meet the representatives of the secondary teachers in an endeavour to settle this dispute.

The third omission is the comprehensive schools. Last year the Minister announced the setting up of these comprehensive schools and told us he was practically in a position to site the schools. Now we find the only advance made in the setting up of these comprehensive schools is that he has now decided on the management system for them. The schools will be managed, he said, by a representative of his Department, a representative of the vocational education authority and by a nominee of the Bishop. Incidentally, he did not tell us what Bishop.

The Bishop representing the religion of the children who will be in the school.

Where there are mixed attendances, I take it bishops of all denominations in the diocese will be represented?

No. There will be only three representatives.

I am trying to think what will happen in my county. I see Donegal is one of the counties earmarked for the provision of a comprehensive school. Will the religious minority have no representative on this committee? It is something which might cause a lot of controversy later. I do not wish to throw anything into the arena at the moment but it is something the Minister should certainly consider.

Other than that he has given us no information. He goes on to say he proposes to site these schools in the very near future. He does not tell us whether he proposes to build a pilot school or whether he proposes to build them all at the one time and have them all staffed at the one time. I hope it will not take as long as it takes to build a national school. I have made inquiries from school managers and I have been told that from the time the decision is taken that a national school is necessary in a locality it takes 10 years to build a school, to have it opened and staffed. If the Minister wants me to cite him an example I shall be very pleased to do it.

Those are the omissions from the Minister's speech on the Estimate, most important ones: the Irish language, the dispute with the secondary teachers and the programme for the setting up of these comprehensive schools.

Another thing that has struck me about the Estimate and what it contains is that we shall have another estimate in the very near future to make provision for the ninth round. In dealing with each and every one of the various categories of education, primary, secondary, vocational and university, the Minister opens his reference to each branch with the following sentence: "The application of the ninth round increase to salaries of teachers will cost ... per annum and it will be necessary to provide for this by way of Supplementary Estimate."

The Minister has given us two Estimates this year already and we shall have more Estimates for this Department. It is a tragedy that we cannot have one Estimate for the entire year. Even if the Minister had to postpone the debate on this Estimate, it would be much better to do that and deal with the matter in toto. To bring in these piecemeal Estimates is very unsatisfactory indeed.

In regard to the provision of national schools, to which I shall refer in more detail later, the Minister refers to it at page 3 in his speech and appears to throw his hat at any hope whatsoever of retaining the population in rural Ireland. He says:

The total number of new pupil places to be provided in these building projects is 20,854.

Then he goes on:

In sparsely populated districts where the need for schools after a period of 15 to 20 years is uncertain, use is being made of a prefabricated timber structure to provide comfortable school accommodation for the pupils.

In other words, for the next 15 to 20 years prefabricated schools will be built throughout Ireland because we can see no future for building permanent schools, because there is bound to be depopulation. It looks as if the Government have no policy whatsoever for retaining the population in rural Ireland. If we cannot retain the children there is not much hope of retaining the adults. It should give us all cause for alarm and cause for thought that rural districts will be depopulated during the next 15 to 20 years. Again, I am merely dealing with what the Minister said in his Estimate speech. He talks about building new prefabricated schools. Does the Minister wish to say something?

I wish to refer to a statement that the Estimate shows a decrease in regard to scholarships to the university. In fact, there is an increase. I should not like it to go from this House that the provision was reduced.

My reading of it has been quite clear. It gives the Estimate for 1963/64 and 1964/65. If the Minister looks at page 135 of the Book of Estimates for 1964/65, he will see that it is £1,500 and for 1963/64, it was £2,000.

The provision for scholarships is set out above and it shows an increase.

I was dealing with scholarships for pupils from Irish-speaking homes.

Perhaps we can deal with it later?

We shall deal with it later but I am certain of my figures. I took them out of this Book of Estimates while the Minister was reading his speech. Perhaps one of the Minister's secretaries would look the matter up, but I am certain of my figures and certain of the reduction.

The Minister refers to the erection of new classrooms, prefabricated buildings attached to existing schools. I take it these are new schools, which the Minister has referred to, in recently built-up areas. The Minister referred to them at page 3 of his statement.

They will be in any building where the classes are large.

In the city?

I hope the Minister will make this provision in new schools within the city boundary.

The prefabricated buildings are proper school rooms. It is just a matter of putting them up fast enough to meet the problem.

I do not object to them. I think they are a good thing. I thought possibly they were being erected at the expense of the erection of new schools where these were necessary, but I understand now.

In regard to national schools, I am glad to hear the Minister say that he is stepping up the grant for the cleaning and heating of national schools by £100,000. That is something that is badly wanted. I cannot speak for the city, but I certainly can speak for rural Ireland, and I am afraid that very often the grant does not reach the teacher. I know for a fact that in most schools in rural Ireland the cleaning is done by the pupils themselves. No official is appointed to clean the schools and in most cases fires are set and attended to by the pupils. I think it would be a good thing—I do not say this in any derogatory sense—if we could have a "char" of some description attached to national schools. I do not wish to use the word "char" in any derogatory sense whatsoever. If some neighbour could be employed for the purpose of cleaning schools and for the purpose of arranging the heating of the schools, it would be a good thing.

The Minister also referred to grants for the erection of secondary schools, though he provides no money this year and gives a good reason. He gives no indication of the extent and amount of grants towards loan charges which he is prepared to give.

60 per cent.

The Minister does not refer to the particular type of school to which he will give it. I understand a rumour was circulated that such a grant would not be given to schools where there were fewer than 150 pupils. I should be glad if the Minister would confirm that that rumour is not true. In many parts of the country there are secondary schools which could not possibly cater for 150 pupils and I should like to see such small schools getting a similar grant of 60 per cent towards loan charges. Some existing small schools would like to enlarge but they know they could not possibly acquire a school roll of 150—I refer to secondary schools. There are schools of the religious denomination of the minority of the country and it would be a waste of money for them to erect schools catering for 150 because they would not have 150 pupils. I hope the Minister will be realistic in that matter and that schools, say, with 60 to 70 students will qualify for such a grant. I hope the rumour of a figure of 150 is untrue.

The Minister tells us what he has done for television programmes and what he is doing for television grants. The extent to which he uses television for the purposes of education relates to secondary schools. I should like to compliment the Minister on this and I should also like to compliment the schools for the manner in which they are co-operating in the provision of television sets. The Minister, his Department, and the Broadcasting Authority are to be complimented for the manner in which they are operating these programmes. I think this development could be greatly extended.

I note also from his speech that the Minister proposes to extend the secondary school year to approximately 200 school days.

The Secondary Teachers' Association.

I shall deal with that later. I notice the Minister does not mention it. Deputy Coughlan will not draw me on that at this stage. I hope the managers' association, or the principals of the secondary schools, will be consulted. Personally, I think it is a very good thing. The Minister has said he has consulted the men and that their reaction has been favourable. Not so much now as in my time, the summer vacation was far too long. Now, when the staffs can find more remunerative employment during the summer, possibly they do not feel it is too long. However, I believe it would prevent cramming to a considerable extent if the school year were extended.

The Minister refers to the technological schools which he hopes to set up. In this age, of course, such schools are very useful and will be of considerable importance, but I wonder whether the siting of these schools is just right. The Minister gives the various towns in which such schools will be sited— Cork, Carlow, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Sligo, Dundalk and Athlone —but there is no mention whatsoever of Donegal.

The greater part of our county has now no rail communication and no direct bus communication with Sligo and it is a pity, therefore, some town in Donegal was not selected, in preference to Sligo, to cater for Donegal. On that point, may I mention that if facilities were made available in the existing school in Derry, it might be of considerable advantage to young people in Donegal? Perhaps the Minister might take the matter up with his opposite number in the Six Counties to see if something could be done.

Another omission from the Minister's speech is the question of a new university college. The Parliamentary Secretary——

That is invading my territory. That is settled. It was pulled before the electorate at the last election.

We shall have to wait until the next one before we hear any more about it. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance was very vocal on the subject last year when speaking to the people of Limerick.

The old ground was slipping from under him.

I do not know whether it was the Old Ground in Ennis——

That is part of the Minister's constituency.

More than the Minister find it slipping from under them, sometimes. I wonder what is to become of this brainchild of the Parliamentary Secretary? No mention is made whatsoever in the Minister's speech of any extensions or of any new colleges. Neither is provision made for it. The Minister does not even suggest he is considering it. He does tell us he is providing money for extensions to Trinity College, to UCD, that there is a grant-in-aid in respect of the Royal College of Surgeons and Maynooth, but there is no mention whatsoever of the provision of a constituent college at Limerick.

I reminded the Minister last year that Donegal County Council were anxious to gain access to Magee College in Derry and that an effort was being made by Magee College to secure university status. Resolutions were passed by the Donegal County Council supporting that effort, I recommended to the Minister last year that in co-operation with his opposite number in the Six Counties, he should try to persuade the education authorities in the North to extend university status to Magee College and, by so doing, assist students in Donegal who are precluded from such facilities at the moment.

The Minister refers to reformatory schools in his speech but we are making no provision whatsoever for any reform of the old reformatories, if I may use the pun. I wonder are we tackling youth delinquency in the proper way? First of all, we try to cloak it by holding courts in camera, by refusing admission to the Press. Then we continue to use the old form of reformatory school. Quite recently a judge in one of the western States in the US found that by trying juvenile delinquents in open court, there was a considerable improvement in his court area. There may be something to be said for it. Parental control might be greater if they knew that their names and the names of the children might be published in the public Press.

Would that not be a matter for the Minister for Justice?

Possibly, but we are dealing with reformatory schools for which the Minister for Education is absolutely responsible. That is my principal reason for mentioning it. I merely mention it by the way. Afterwards there comes the question of the modus operandi in the school itself. A change there might well repay our efforts.

We in Fine Gael have on many occasions announced our policy towards education. First of all, we have told the people we are anxious to see the Irish language revived. One of the things we are most anxious to see is the language of the native Irish speakers revived; we are anxious to see it revived as a spoken language, but I certainly would not in any way contribute to or support the survival of a language that is not the language spoken by the people of the Gaeltacht areas. The Minister set up a Commission to inquire into the revival of the Irish language. They have published their report and the Minister's Department cannot be blamed for it. However, that Department have set up more Commissions in their history than any other Department of State. Some 25 years ago, the Commission on Vocational Education——

We did not set up the Commission on the Irish language.

To inquire into the method——

I did not set it up.

I am not suggesting the Minister did but he will have responsibility for the administration of the greater part of it, if the findings are implemented. I know the Minister can split hairs between himself and the Minister for the Gaeltacht.

It was the Taoiseach who set it up.

I know it was the Taoiseach set it up but he has no responsibility for any legislation based on the findings of that Commission. That is the reason I mention it now. Last year he told us what great hopes he had for this new method of teaching the language, which at that time was being studied by, I think, a professor in Gormanston. He does not even tell us what progress has been made since then. We know nothing whatever about his future policy towards the language. We do not know whether he will continue the method of teaching infants subjects other than Irish through the medium of Irish in a non-Irish speaking locality. He has not told us whether he will concentrate more on the revival of Irish through oral classes, through revival of the spoken language as such or whether he will continue the method in operation for the past 30 years of concentrating on the teaching of reading and writing the language through a medium which the native Irish speaker does not understand.

With regard to the curriculum in the national schools, I am sorry, indeed, to hear to-day that the Minister does not propose to add to it in any way. Last year, I advocated here the teaching of civics in the national school. It would be a great help if we had a course in civics in all our primary schools. Most of the vandalism done by students of the national school is done through sheer ignorance, through sheer lack of knowledge of civics, and it is something which the Minister should consider. It would be of considerable help if one hour per week were devoted to the teaching of civics. We could vary the programme by having, say, an hour per week devoted to the subject of road traffic. It is part of civics and it would be of considerable help.

Most accidents to pedestrians and cyclists are caused through a lack of knowledge of road traffic regulations. The Minister should take up the matter with his colleague, the Minister for Justice, and arrange for the giving of road traffic lessons in the national schools possibly with the aid of the Garda. The Minister may tell me that he has arranged to do that in certain localities. Bear in mind, however, that it is not in the built-up areas, that it is not within the areas of the speed limit, that most accidents occur. They occur on the open roads in rural Ireland where, unfortunately, classes such as these are not given. Physical drill is no longer taught in our national schools. There is no greater example of it than the Minister himself. He is a man who believes in an outdoor life and in physical fitness. He should pass on his enthusiasm for physical fitness to the teachers and the pupils. In my day in the national school, half an hour was devoted practically every day to what was known as drill. The same thing applied in the secondary school where we had drill at least once a week. It is unfortunate that these exercises have been dropped. I am certain that there would be no difficulty in procuring teachers, again, with the co-operation of the Minister's colleague, the Minister for Justice.

Drill and discipline are two of the finest things that could be taught and there is no better way of teaching discipline than through drill. With the co-operation of his colleague, the Minister for Justice, the Minister should concentrate more on physical fitness in the national schools. I feel certain that, with the co-operation of the Garda or of members of the FCA who would be only too anxious to help by way of lectures and classes on physical fitness, beneficial results would follow. Television could also be used for that purpose. In Britain, television has been used for the giving of physical fitness lessons.

I wonder if the Minister has considered the setting-up of multi-teacher parochial schools as distinct from the small rural national schools located throughout a parish. He admitted in his speech today that it is impossible to cater for the sparsely populated areas. When you build a two-roomed school you find, after a few years, that only one room is occupied. On the other hand, possibly when you build a one- or two-roomed school you may discover that, as a result of an increase in the population in the locality, it may be necessary to add to it but, more often than not, it is necessary to close down these schools.

I wonder if the Minister would consider the question of centrally sited parochial schools. Not only would they give all national school pupils the same facilities for study but they would give the teachers a better opportunity of employing their talents. It is most difficult for a teacher in a one- or two-teacher school to teach eight classes, usually, I think from first to eighth, and two infant classes. It is very difficult for such pupils to reach the same standard as pupils where a teacher concentrates on merely one or two classes.

It is difficult for pupils in one- or two-teacher schools to compete in open competition with pupils from a multi-teacher school. The Minister should seriously consider now, when this building programme is being revised, whether it would be worth while building parochial schools in agreed centres and concentrating on them.

I do not know very much about the present-day and modern curriculum in secondary schools. The Minister did not refer to it in his opening speech. I hope there will be more concentration on the teaching of modern European languages. If we enter the Common Market, as the Government anticipate, it is essential that we concentrate on European languages. Even though we may have to sacrifice the teaching of some of the dead languages such as Greek and, possibly, Latin, it would be a very good thing if at least one modern language were made an essential subject in the curriculum of all secondary schools.

The Minister has informed us of the counties in which he proposes to site the comprehensive schools. I personally made representations to him some time ago about the siting of one of them in Donegal and I am very glad to see from his speech that one of them will be sited in that county. I also appealed to him to site a comprehensive school in the town of Ardara, which is on the fringe, if not in the centre, of the Gaeltacht. It is about the only town in Donegal in which there is not an opportunity of secondary education for post-primary students. So far as I know, there is no vocational school. The town is fairly centrally located and I appeal to the Minister to consider it favourably as a site for a comprehensive school. I would also ask the Minister to announce as soon as possible the actual location of these schools to which he has referred today and I appeal to him to consider the appointment of a representative of the minority on the management committees of such schools.

I should like to see more done with and for graduates before they take up the practice of their professions. I know the Medical Schools now insist on a graduate doing at least one year's hospital course prior to being permitted to practise as a doctor. That is a very good thing and the example should be followed by various other faculties. I should like to see the engineering faculty insist on at least one year's practical work in the field, so to speak, before permitting an engineer to graduate as they have been accustomed to do in the past. The same would apply to dental surgeons and other professions. I think it does apply in the case of secondary teachers who, I think, must do a year of practical teaching before being recognised. This could be done in the other professions, not leaving out my own profession. It would be a very good thing when a solicitor qualifies, passing his final examination, that authority should insist on his doing one year's practical work——

Has he not done three years' practical work before he qualifies?

He has not. He is doing an apprenticeship which is completely different from post-graduate experience in the office or the court. Unfortunately, many young solicitors who qualify find themselves setting up in business——

The chartered accountants' profession is the ideal in this respect.

I am in full agreement with the Minister on that and I think many others could follow the example of the Minister's profession in that way. Some post-graduate work should be insisted on before young graduates are launched on the market.

Because there is so little in the Minister's Estimate speech, there is little left to which I can refer, other that the most important matter, the fact that the Minister made no reference to the dispute between his Department and the secondary teachers. I hold no brief for the secondary teachers. I understand they claim they are entitled to an increase in salary and, if they are, they should get it. I understand the Minister's answer is that their salary is related to the salary of somebody else and that the differential must remain. I know nothing whatever about that. All I know is that a young secondary teacher after five years in a secondary school and four in the university is offered £950 as a secondary teacher in his first year. There are many trades in which a man could earn that——

And more. The Minister should endeavour to settle this dispute before it is too late. If he does not he is creating a very bad precedent. What must be the opinion of young pupils of their teachers when they see these teachers rebelling against their employer? The psychological effect must be bad. Instead of refusing to negotiate, the Minister should meet them and hear their case. If an arbitrator is being appointed, the full facts should be placed before him. I understand that the previous arbitrator who acted in this matter had a wrong hypothesis; that he was informed he should act within certain limits and that he could not go outside them. I do not know if that is true. The Minister should try to meet the teachers soon, even if it is only for the psychological impact it would have on the pupils, if only to give good example to them. He should meet the teachers.

I do not wish to use a certain expression but somebody must be procured to superintend the examinations and examine the papers and results of the examination, somebody whose job it has not been in the past. In other professions and trades, this might be called "scabbing". I do not wish to refer to any person who may be found to take these jobs as a scab because I believe the Intermediate examination must be held and the results published at the usual time. Somebody must be found to do these jobs. It has a very bad psychological effect on the pupils to find a dispute such as this may be ignored by the employer and that substitutes can be procured to replace those who allege they have a legitimate grievance.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.