Committee on Finance. - Vote 28—Office of the Minister for Education.

Tairgim:

Go ndeonófar suim nach mó ná £732,500 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, 1966, 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.

Tá ins na seacht Vótaí go bhfuil mise freagrach iontu £30,633,060. Dhá mhilliún, céad fiche a haon mhíle, octó a seacht bpunt de mhéadú is ea é sin ar an soláthar don bhliain airgeadais roimhe seo tar éis £3,049,200 de mheastachán breise a thógaint san áireamh. Tá trí mhilliún punt á chur ar fáil faoi Vóta 8 (Oibreacha Poiblí agus Foirgintí) le haghaidh tithe scoile náisiúnta a thógáil, a mhéadú is a chóiriú. An caiteachas ar oideachas i 1957/58 bhí sé faoi bhun £16,000,000. Mar sin tá sé thar a bheith dúbailte ó shoin.

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

VÓTA 28—OIFIG AN AIRE OIDEACHAIS.

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

Milliún, céad tríocha a dó míle, is cúig chéad punt atá á iarraidh, agus £216,667 de mhéadú atá ansin ar an soláthar don bhliain roimhe seo.

Siad na nithe ba mhó is bun leis an méadú sin ná:—

(1) An soláthar don fhoirinn bhreise ba ghá a cheapadh chun freastal ar an leathnú ar na seirbhísí oideachais agus soláthar le haghaidh incrimintí agus méaduithe tuarastail.

(2) Scoláireachtaí Ollscoile. Faoi oibriú Acht na Scoláireachtaí 1961, titfidh £30,950 de chostas breise ar an Stát i mbliana.

(3) Acadamh Ríoga an Cheoil. Seacht míle cúig chéad punt de mhéadú ar an nDeontas-i-gCabhair chun foirgneamh an Acadaimh a dheisiú agus a athchóiriú.

(4) Aon mhíle déag naoi gcéad punt de mhéadú ar na deontais do mhic léinn i gcomhair taighde san Eolaíocht.

Rinneadh soláthar anuraidh don chéad uair (tré mheastachán breise) chun £5,000 de dheontas a íoc le Muintir na Tíre in aghaidh na gcostaisí a bhain leis an bplean a d'ullmhaigh siad chun eagraíochtaí i measc an phobail a fhorbairt. Tá soláthar chuige sin á dhéanamh arís i mbliana.

Tá soláthar á dhéanamh don chéad uair chun comhlachtaí a chur ar fáil ar mhaithe le hinnealtóirí agus eolaithe (aicmí sinsearacha) a chur thar lear chun staidéar a dhéanamh ar fhorbairt na nua-theicníochta. Bhí scéim den chineál seo á reachtáil faoi choimirce OECD go dtí seo.

VÓTA 29—BUNOIDEACHAS.

Seacht milliún déag, trí chéad is sé mhíle agus ceithre chéad punt méid glan an Vóta. Is mó de £484,200 an tsuim seo ná suim na bliana seo caite, nuair a gcuirtear san áireamh £2,100,000 de mheastachán breise. An chuid is mó den mhéadú sin, le costaisí breise tógála i gcás Coláiste Oiliúna Naomh Pádraig a bhaineann sé.

Sa scoilbhliain dar chríoch 30 Meitheamh, 1964, bhí 14,297 múinteoirí ar fostó i scoileanna náisiúnta i gcomórtas le 14,218 sa scoilbhliain roimhe sin. Bhí cúig chéad is dhá mhíle, dhá chéad agus a haon de dhaltaí ar na rollaí i scoileanna náisiúnta ar 30 Meitheamh, 1964, 220 de mhéadú ar an líon a bhí ann cothrom an lae sin i 1963.

Is maith an dul-chun-cinn a deineadh arís anuraidh maidir le scoileanna nua a sholáthar agus deabhail a chur ar scoileanna eile. I rith na bliana airgeadais dar críoch 31 Márta, 1965, ceadaíodh £4,086,352 de dheontas i leith tógála 154 scoil nua agus 136 mór-scéim méadaithe agus feabhsaithe. Soláthrófar áiteanna nua le haghaidh 31,666 scoláirí tríd na scéimeanna tógála seo. Tá trí mhilliún punt á sholáthar sa Vóta le haghaidh Oibreacha agus Foirgintí Poiblí i gcomhair scoileanna náisiúnta a thógáil, a dheisiú agus a mhéadú— an tsuim airgid is mó go mór dár soláthraíodh riamh chun na críche sin.

Beidh cuimhne ag Teachtaí gur cuireadh feabhas ar an gcoibhneas idir oidí agus daltaí gach bliain le sé bhliain anuas. Díríodh iarracht na bliana seo caite go príomha chun deireadh a chur le ranganna móra i gCathair Átha Cliath. Chuige sin deineadh atheagrú ar ranganna i scoileanna aonair agus i ngrúpaí áirithe scoileanna laistigh de gach limistéar. Cuireadh deireadh le mórán de na ranganna móra tré dhaltaí a aistriú agus ranganna a chomhnascadh. Cruthaíodh 104 post breise múinteoireachta chun freastal ar an gcuid eile. Tá beartaithe i mbliana tabhairt faoi fhadhb na ranganna móra i gCorcaigh, Luimneach agus Portláirge a réiteach. Tá fúm feabhsú ginearálta eile a dhéanamh i gcúrsaí foirne an bhliain seo chugainn agus tá súil agam go mbeidh mé ábalta é sin a dhéanamh ar scála níos leithne toisc go mbeidh méadú mór an bhliain sin ar líon na múinteoirí fir ó Choláiste Oiliúna Naomh Pádraig, nuair a bheidh críoch curtha le scéim méadaithe agus deisithe an Choláiste, scéim a mheastar a chosnóidh £1,500,000.

Beidh cuimhne ag Teachtaí ar Acht na nÚdarás Áitiúil (Scoláireachtaí Oideachais) (Leasú), 1961, gurbé a chéad chuspóir ná scéim leathnaithe scoláireachtaí iarbhunoideachais agus Ollscoile a bhunú agus ansan a chur ar chumas an Stáit, don chéad uair, deontais i leith chostas na scoláireachtaí sin a íoc. Bhí toradh fónta ar an Acht san agus bhíothas ábalta dá bhárr líon na scoláireachtaí iarbhunoideachais a mhéadú ó 2,668 sa bhliain 1961-62 go dtí timpeall 7,500 sa bhliain 1964-65. Is é an costas measta a ghabhfaidh le scoláireachtaí sa bhliain airgeadais 1965-66 ná £550,000. Titfidh £300,000 den chostas san ar an Stát agus íocfaidh na húdaráis áitiúla an chuid eile. Is mór le rá an caiteachas san i gcomparáid le £150,000 ar fad a caitheadh ceithre bhliain ó shoin. Ina thaobh seo ba mhaith liom moladh a thabhairt do bhaill na núdarás áitiúil as ucht an intinn thuisceanach a léirigh siad i leith scoláireachtaí agus, freisin, i ngeall ar chomh fial, fonnmhar is a chomhoibríodar í bhfeidhmiú an Achta.

Anois go bhfuiltear tagaithe go dtí an pointe go bhfuil an tairbhe maximum á bhaint as Acht, 1961, ní mór an scéal d'aithbhreithniú. Nuair a deineadh an Bille Scoláireachta 1961 a thionscnamh míníodh don Dáil gurbé an chéad chéim é chun scéim uileghabhálach scoláireachta a sholáthar agus go rabhthas ag súil, de réir mar a bheadh cúrsaí eacnamaíochta na tíre ag feabhsú, go bhféadfaí an scéim a leathnú. Tá áthas orm a fhógairt don Teach go bhfuil fúm leasú ar an Acht a thabhairt isteach a mhéadóidh faoi dhó an caiteachas bliantúil ar scoláireachtaí idir scoláireachtaí iar-bhunoideachais agus scoláireachtaí Ollscoile agus a dhéanfaidh líon na scoláireachtaí a bhronntar gach bliain a dhúbailt.

Faoin mbliain 1970, ar bhun luach na scoláireachtaí faoi láthair, táim ag súil leis go mbeidh tuairim is 20,000 dalta iar-bhunoideachais agus beagnach 2,000 mac léinn Ollscoile i seilbh scoláireachtaí. Sa bhliain chéanna beidh tuairim is £1,200,000, á chaitheamh ar scoláireachtaí. Seasfaidh an Stát £660,000 den mhéid sin. Tá na figiúirí seo mar gheall ar an tslí ar dócha a bhéadh an scéal i 1970 bunaithe ar an leasú atá beartaithe a dhéanamh ar Acht 1961 agus ní chuireann siad as an áireamh socruithe eile a d'fhéadfadh a bheith i gceist chun an líon scoláireachtaí do mhéadú.

Tá an scéim chun leabharlanna tagartha do sholáthar i scoileanna náisiúnta ag dul ar aghaidh do réir mar a beartaíodh. Tá £35,000 de shuim breise i gcóir leabharlanna á chur ar fáil i mbliana agus tá beartaithe agam an scéim a shíneadh go dtí na Contaethe seo leanas: Corcaigh, Ceatharlach, Cábhán, Cill Dara, Cill Choinnigh agus an Mhidhe.

Tá £324,000 de mhéadú ar na deontais le haghaidh na gColáistí Oiliúna sa bhliain 1965-66. Baineann sé sin le costas méadaithe agus deisithe Coláiste Oiliúna Naomh Pádraig do scoláirí fir agus le breis deontais a chur ar fáil do na coláistí chun cur ar a gcumas tuilleadh foirne a fhostú agus teanglanna a bhunú.

Tá na cúrsaí ins na h-ábhair éagsúla ar chlár na scoile náisiúnta á n-athbhreithniú agus á dtabhairt i gcomhréir le saol an lae inniu. Tá Coistí Roinne i mbun na hoibre seo faoi láthair agus do réir mar a ullmhófar na cúrsaí déanfar iad a eisiúint chuig na scoileanna, taréis dul i gcomhairle fúthu leis na heagraíochtaí cuí oideachais. Tá cúrsaí nua sa Stair agus san Obair Shnáthaide eisithe cheana féin do na scoileanna uile.

VÓTA 30—MEÁNOIDEACHAS.

Cúig mhilliún, cúig chéad is cúig mhíle agus ceithre chéad punt an meastachán glan don mheánoideachas. Is ionann é sin agus tuairim is £246,000 de mhéadú ar an méad a vótáladh don bhliain 1964-65. Tá soláthar sa mheastachán do na méaduithe tuarastail a ceadaíodh anuraidh do mheánmhúinteoirí i leith stádais agus an "naoú cúrsa". Níl aon soláthar sa mheastachán don mhéadú eile tuarastail do mheánmhúinteoirí a ceadaíodh le déanaí. Cuirfear meastachán foirlíontach don mhéid atá i gceist—don bhliain 1965-66—tuairim is £270,000—faoi bhráid na Dála in am trátha. Le deontais do scoileanna le scoláireachtaí iarbhunscoile agus le scrúduithe a bhaineann roinnt mhaith den chuid eile den mhéadú. Soláthar nua is ea na deontais tógála do mheánscoileanna agus do scoileanna coimsitheacha.

Nócha a trí mhíle beagnach an líon daltaí atá ar rollaí meánscoileanna aitheanta anois i gcomparáid le 56,411 deich mbliana ó shoin. Is ionann é sin agus 65 faoin gcéad de mhéadú sa tréimhse sin. Sa tréimhse chéanna deich mblian tá méadú ó 458 go 573 tagaithe ar líon na meánscoileanna. Táthar ag coinne le go méadóidh níos tapúla fós ar líon na meánscoileanna agus ar líon na ndaltaí iontu sna blianta atá le teacht de bharr oibriú na scéime deontais le haghaidh tógáil mheánscoileanna agus laistigh d'achar gearr go mbeidh líon na ndaltaí ar rollaí meánscoileanna aitheanta chomh hard le 100,000.

Ní mór méadú ar an líon múinteoirí do theacht i gcomhréir leis an méadú ar líon na ndaltaí. Sa scoilbhliain reatha 3,964 líon na meánmhúinteoirí cláraithe atá ag fáil breistuarastail i gcomparáid le 2,478 deich mbliain ó shoin. Ina theannta sin tá an liúntas breise do mhúinteoirí ar promhachán dá íoc le 325 múinteoirí sa tslí go bhfuil san iomlán 4,289 meánmhúinteoirí ag fáil tuarastail díreach ón Roinn sa scoilbhliain reatha.

Fianaise é seo go léir ar an móréileamh ar an iarbhunoideachas, móréileamh atá ag fás de shíor. Tá fás mór ag teacht ar ráta an mhéadaithe ar líon na ndaltaí i meánscoileanna gur sealbhóirí scoláireachtaí iad. Is é is cúis leis seo ná an méid go bhfuil feidhm dá bhaint ag Údaráis Áitiúla as forálacha Acht na nÚdarás Áitiúil (Scoláireachtaí Oideachais) (Leasú), 1961, chun líon mór-mhéadaithe scoláireachtaí a bhronnadh.

An fás ar líon na scoileanna agus ar líon na n-áiteanna atá dá gcur ar fáil, is fianaise shásúil í ar na hiarrachtaí atá dá ndéanamh ag dreamanna príomháideacha le cabhair ón Stát chun freastal ar an éileamh atá de shíor ag méadú. Is é is aidhm don scéim deontais thógála gur dheineas tagairt di cheana ná tuilleadh cuidiú a thabhairt do na hiarrachtaí sin. Ina ainneoin sin, beidh limistéirí fós ann nár leor ar chúiseanna áirithe an soláthar a dhéanfaí dóibh faoi na socruithe atá ann faoi láthair. Tá taighde dá dhéanamh ag an Roinn ar na limistéirí seo go léir agus déanfar socrú i ngach cás maidir le ceist scoil choimsitheach a bhunú san áit. Go dtí seo tá ceithre limistéir roghnaithe le haghaidh scoileanna coimsitheacha —An Cheathrú Rua, An Mhuinchille, Aerphort na Sionaine agus na Gleanntaí. Meastar go mbeidh £70,000 de réamh-chostais i leith na scoileanna sna ceithre limistéir sin le híoc san bhliain airgeadais reatha agus tá soláthar dá réir dá dhéanamh sa Mheastachán.

An líon méadaithe daltaí i meánscoileanna is léiriú é ní amháin ar uimhir na ndaltaí breise atá ag dul le meánoideachas ach chomh maith leis sin ar an gclaonadh sna daltaí tréimhse níos fuide a chaitheamh ar scoil. Fiú iad sin go n-éiríonn leo ag deireadh cúrsa na hArdteistiméireachta is mór a raghadh bliain eile staidéir chun tairbhe dá lán díobh sara dtosnóidís ag obair nó sara dtabharfaidís faoi chúrsa oideachais níos aoirde. Chun freastal ar sin do socraíodh le déanaí maolú a dhéanamh ar na rialacha le haghaidh deontais a íoc le meánscoileanna i dtreo is gur féidir deontas a íoc i ngach cás i leith dalta aithinte go bhfuil cúrsa mar dhalta sinsearach don tríú bliain dá dhéanamh aige.

Le bliain anuas tá breithniú dá dhéanamh sa Roinn ar na siollabais do na hábhair go léir ag leibhéal na Meánteistiméireachta. Tá an breithniú seo dá dhéanamh go príomha maidir le pleanáil na siollabas do na hábhair a bheidh ann don Scrúdú Meánteistiméireachta coiteann d'iarrthóirí ó mheánscoileanna, ó ghairmscoileanna agus ó scoileanna coimsitheacha. Tá tairiscintí ina leith sin faoi bhráid na Scolchumann i láthair na huaire. Tá dul chun cinn déanta chomh maith maidir le breithniú na gcúrsaí ag leibhéal na hArdteistiméireachta agus tá siollabais leasaithe don Mhatamaitic agus don Eolaíocht ag an leibhéal sin curtha i bhfeidhm sna scoileanna cheana féin. Sí an aidhm atá leis an íomlán ná na siollabais a chur sa riocht go mbeidís ag teacht leis an dearcadh is nua-aoisí ó thaobh cúrsaí oideachais de.

Tá sé thar a bheith tábhachtach go mbeadh eolas i gcothrom leis an lá inniu ag na múinteoirí ar na hábhair a bhíonn dá múineadh acu agus ar na modhanna is nua-aimsirí múinteoireachta chun na siollabais athchóirithe a mhúineadh chomh héifeachtúil agus is féidir. Is mar gheall air sin atá socruithe déanta le haghaidh sraith i bhfad níos leithne de chúrsaí do mhúinteoirí.

Chomh maith leis na cúrsaí tráthnóna Ollscoile agus na dian-chúrsaí samhraidh do mhúinteoirí Matamaitice atá dá reachtáil arís i mbliana tá roinnt chúrsaí dá reachtáil ag ionaid oiriúnacha ag deireadh seachtainí i rith na scoilbhliana. Tá socrú déanta leis, go reachtálfar trí cinn de chúrsaí seachtaine i modhanna mhúineadh na nua-Mhatamaitice agus tá saineolaithe ón gcoigríoch ceapaithe mar léachtóirí ar na cúrsaí sin.

Tá socruithe déanta arís i mbliana le haghaidh cúrsaí cónaithe ceithre seachtain sna nua-theangacha Eorpacha san Teanglann ag Coláiste na bProinsiasach, Rinn Mhic Ghormáin. I mbliana beidh cúrsa ann sa bhFraincis, sa Ghearmáinis agus sa Spáinnis.

Ionas go mbainfidh na scoileanna an tairbhe is mó is féidir as na cúrsaí is gá go mbeadh áiseanna le haghaidh mhúineadh nua theangacha ar fáil do na múinteoirí atá tar éis oiliúint d'fháil lena n-úsáid ag na cúrsaí seo nó ag cúrsaí oiriúnacha eile. Leis na scoileanna do spreagadh chun na háiseanna sin a chur ar fáil tá scéim tugtha isteach le héifeacht ó thús na scoilbhliana reatha, faoin a n-íocfar deontais le meánscoileanna i leith ceannach gléasra, téipeanna agus céirníní.

Na cláracha teilifíse ar deineadh tosnú leo ar bhonn trialach an bhliain seo caite táthar ag leanúint leo i mbliana ar scála i bhfad níos leithne. D'éirigh go hana-mhaith leis na cláracha trialach anuraidn agus ba mhór an sásamh é an spéis a chur na scoileanna iontu. Braitheadh, mar sin, gur cheart gach cabhair is féidir a thábhairt chun deimhin a dhéanamh de go mbeidh na meánscoileanna go léir sa riocht go bhféadfaidís leas a bhaint as na cláracha. Dá bhrí sin socraíodh deontas a chur ar fáil do mheánscoileanna ar mhian leo teilifíseán a cheannach chun bheith páirteach sa chlár "Telefís Scoile".

VÓTA 31—GAIRM-OIDEACHAS.

Isé méid atá á iarraidh le haghaidh Gairmoideachais sna Meastacháin seo, £3,478,500. Is méadú é sin, de £1,149,230 ar an mBun-Mheastachán a ritheadh anuraidh. Is ceart dom a lua gur ritheadh i ndeireadh na bliana airgeadais atá caite Meastachán Breise dár mhéid £129,000. Mar sin de, táthar á iarraidh ar an Dáil anois, rud beag thar £1 milliún a sholáthar le haghaidh an Ghairmoideachais san bhliain airgeadais seo de bhreis ar an méid a soláthraíodh an bhliain seo caite.

Mar is eol do na Teachtaí is beag gné de shaol cultúrtha, sóisialta nó eacnamaíoch na tíre nach bhfuil baint ag an ngairmoideachas leis. Ar thaobh an chultúir agus an tsaoil sóisialta de, tá an t-oideachas leanúnach ann sna cúrsaí lae don aos iarbhunscoile, agus tá rangannaí agus cúrsaí oíche ann do dhaoine fásta ina ndéantar cúram den Ghaeilge agus de theangacha iasachta, den cheol, den ealaín, den drámaíocht, d'ealaíon tís agus de mhórán rudaí eile. Ar thaobh na heacnamaíochta tá obair nach beag á dhéanamh sna gairmscoileanna i dtaca le hoiliúint printíseach, cúrsaí ar bhainisteoireachta agus ar riaradh gnótha, cúrsaí chun teicneoirí agus teicneolaithe a sholáthar le haghaidh tionscail agus mar sin de. Éinne a léann na tuarascála atá curtha ar fáil ar thionscail éagsúla ag an gCoiste um Eagraíocht Thionscalach, feicfidh sé go n-aithníonn lucht tionscail go measartha fóirleathan na buntáistí atá le fáil as an ngairmoideachas maidir le forbairt ghnótha agus táirgthe. Sé mo mhiansa é, agus tá an mhian chéanna acu siúd atá ag riaradh an ghairmoideachais ag an leibhéal áitiúil, go mbainfeadh lucht tionscail lánfheidhm as na deiseanna is féidir leis an gcóras gairmoideachais a sholáthar dhóibh. Tá mórán de lucht tionscail i gcomhairle leis na Coistí gairmoideachais cheana féin ina thaobh seo, agus freastal á dhéanamh sna scoileanna ar a riachtanais. Ach tá tuilleadh fós ann a d'fhéadfadh leas a bhaint as an gcóras ar mhaithe le forbairt eacnamaíoch, agus ba mhaith dá gcuiridís a gcuid riachtanas in iúl do na Coistí. Níor mhaith liom, áfach, go mbainfí aon mhí-thuiscint as seo. Ní hé gnó an oideachais é caoi a thabhairt chun go ndéanfaí sa scoil an obair is dual agus is ceart a dhéanamh ar urlár na monarchan. In oiliúint printíseach, ceardaithe, teicneoirí, tá obair áirithe is cuí don mhonarchain nó don cheardlann, agus obair eile is cuí don scoil.

Tá ionad ar leith ag an ngairmoideachas sa phlean le haghaidh fhorbairt an oideachais a d'fhoilsigh an tAire Oideachais a bhí ann romham. An dá phointe is mó sa phlean sin, i dtaca le gairmoideachas, síneadh an ghnáthchúrsa do dhaltaí lánaimsireacha lae, agus bunú Ceard-Choláistí Réigiúnacha. Is maith liom é bheith le tuairisciú agam go bhfuil dul chun cinn súntasach déanta sa dá rud sin. Tá faoi láthair á scrúdú ag na cumainn a bhaineann le ceardoideachas na coinníollacha agus na siollabais atá ceapaithe ag mo Roinnse don Mheán-Teistiméireacht a bheidh ann do dhaltaí meánscoileanna, do dhaltaí scoileanna coimsitheacha agus do dhaltaí gairmscoileanna go mbeidh an cúrsa fadaithe trí mbliain déanta acu. Bhí comhchaint ann le déanaí idir ionadaithe óna cumainn sin agus oifigigh de chuid mo Roinne agus dhein siad an scéal do phlé. Tá rún agam an cúrsa nua a thionscnamh i dtús na scoil bhliana 1966-67.

Maidir leis na Coláistí Réigiúnacha, tá pleanáil na bhfoirgintí idir lámhaibh cheana féin i gcás Chorcaí, Luimní, Cheatharlaigh agus Áth Luain. Sna hionaid eile—Gaillimh, Sligeach, Dún Dealgan agus Portláirge—tá na réamhshocruithe maidir le suímh a fháil agus an chóiríocht a bheidh ag teastáil sna Coláistí a mheas, go maith chun cinn. I dtreo go mbeidh gach cabhair agus cúnamh ar fáil do na Coistí go mbeidh na Coláistí fúthu, tá sé leagtha mar chúram speisialta ar chigire sinsearach de chuid mo Roinne bheith i mbuan-teangmháil leo. Agus chun go seachnófar oiread agus is féidir é aon mhoill i leith thógáil na scoileanna seo, agus i leith beartas tógála coitianta ag Coistí Gairmoideachais, tá saineolaí breise ar fhoirgníocht ceaptha ar fhoireann na Roinne le plé le cúrsaí tógála don chóras gairmoideachais.

Tá rud amháin eile ba mhaith liom a lua i dtaca leis an Meastachán seo. Feicfidh Teachtaí go bhfuil méadú measartha substainteach ar an soláthar le haghaidh oiliúint mhúinteoirí. Agus an tseirbhís ag leathnú mar atá sé ní mór, ar ndóigh, tuilleadh múinteoirí ann. Cuirfear cuid acu san ar fáil trí chúrsaí oiliúna speisialta faoi stiúrú na Roinne Oideachais. Ach tá brath mór againn ar Chéimithe Ollscoile mar mhúinteoirí gairmoideachais. Ba mhaith liom a thabhairt dá n-aire do chéimithe, do fhó-chéimithe, do thuismitheoirí agus do dhaoine eile lena mbaineann go bhfuil slí bheatha antarraingteach anois ann sa ghairmmhúinteoireacht. Tá idir thuarastal agus coinníollacha seirbhíse feabhsaithe go mór le bliana beaga anuas, agus tá deiseanna maithe ann don mhúinteoir óg le dul chun cinn le linn dó seirbhís thairbheach a bheith aige á thabhairt don aos óg agus do phobal na tíre i gcoitinne.

VÓTA 32—SCOILEANNA CEARTÚCHÁIN AGUS SAOTHAIR

Dhá chéad ochtó a cúig mhíle, cúig chéad agus caoga punt atá á lorg faoin vóta seo don bhliain airgeadais 1965-66—sé sin £28,750 níos mó ná mar a lorgaíodh don bhliain airgeadais 1964-65. Is é is bun leis an méadú sin ná go bhfuiltear taréis 12/6d. an dalta de mhéadú in aghaidh na seachtaine a thabhairt do na scoileanna ón 1 Aibreán, 1965. Tagann 7/6d. den mhéadú sin as an gCiste Poiblí agus tá na hÚdaráis Áitiúla freagarthach as an 5/- eile. Seo leanas na rátaí íocaíochta i leith gach dalta in aghaidh na seachtaine:—

Ón Stát

Ón Údarás Áitiúil

Scoileanna Ceartúcháin

37/6

33/- go 34/-

Scoileanna Saothair

35/-

32/6

Lé blianta beaga anuas tá an líon dalta sna scoileanna ag titim de réir a chéile. Ag deireadh na bliana 1964 bhí 1,388 buachaillí agus 1,444 cailíní sa dachad is trí de scoileanna saothair i gcomparáid le 1,523 buachaillí agus 1,577 cailíní ag deireadh na bliana 1963. Bhí 25 cailíní sna scoileanna ceartúcháin ag deireadh na bliana 1964 i gcomparáid le 27 ag deireadh 1963. Bhí méadú sa líon de bhuachaillí sa scoil ceartúcháin, áfach—116 ag deireadh 1964 i gcomparáid le 113 ag deireadh 1963.

Tá a scoileanna náisiúnta féin i seacht gcinn déag de na scoileanna saothair agus sa sé cinn is fiche eile tá socrú ann lena líon daltaí bheith ag freastal ar scoileanna náisiúnta taobh leo.

VÓTA 33—OLLSCOILEANNA, COLÁISTÍ AGUS INSTITIÚID ARDLÉINN BHAILE ÁTHA CLIATH.

Dhá mhilliún, ocht gcéad ochtó a naoi míle, trí chéad punt méid an mheastacháin don bhliain 1965-66, figiúr is lú de £92,600 ná vóta na bliana seo caite. Sé is cúis leis an ísliú sin ná go bhfuil £645,000 de laghdú sa deontas caipitil le haghaidh Coláiste na hOllscoile, Baile Átha Cliath, toisc an obair thógála i gcás na bhfoirgintí Eolaíochta i mBelfield a bheith beagnach críochnaithe. In aghaidh an £645,000 de laghdú tá £127,980 de mhéadú sa deontas breise chun críochanna ginearálta le haghaidh Coláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath agus na méaduithe eile seo leanas:— Ollscoil Náisiúnta na hÉireann: £3,300; Coláiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh: £184,000; Coláiste na hOllscoile, Gaillimh: £37,000; Coláiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath: £150,500; Ospidéal Fiachlóireachta Baile Átha Cliath: £27,000; Institiúid Ardléinn Bhaile Átha Cliath: £22,120; agus Coláiste na Máinlia: £500. Baineann na méaduithe seo le breis foirne sna hOllscoileanna chun freastal ar an bhfás atá tagaithe ar an líon mac léinn atá ag fáil Ollscolaíochta, agus leis na cláracha caipitil tógála i gColáiste na hOllscoile, Corcaigh agus i gColáiste na Tríonóide, Baile Átha Cliath (an £50,000 de dheontas le haghaidh na Leabharlainne nua san áireamh). Sé is cúis go príomha leis an méadú le haghaidh Institiúid Árdléinn Baile Átha Cliath ná ardú ar thuarastail na foirne ann agus forbairt atá beartaithe don Roinn Réalteolaíoch de Scoil na Fisice Cosmaí.

Chuaigh an líon mac léinn atá ag fáil oideachais Ollscoile i méid ó timpeall 10,400 sa bhliain 1959-60 go dtí tuairim is 13,500 sa bhliain 1963-64.
VÓTA 34— AN TÁILÉAR NÁISÚNTA.
An cúig mhíle is fiche, ceithre céad is deich bpunt atá á iarraidh faoin Vóta seo is mó de £8,240 é ná suim na bliana seo caite. Sé is cúis leis an méadú ná foireann breise, méaduithe tuarastail agus pá maraon leis an £2,500 atá á chur ar fáil le haghaidh caomhnú saothar ealaíne.
Séard a bhí i gceist agam go dtí seo nithe atá ag dul ar aghaidh nó beartaithe cheana féin. Ach d'fhéadfadh an Teach bheith ag fiafraí ní nach íonadh, céard tá an tAire nua a leagan amach dó féin mar bheart. Cuirfidh mé síos dá réir sin ina liosta anois ar chuid de na nithe a bhfuil rún agam cúram faoi leith a dhéanamh díobh. Ní gach uile ní a d'fhéadfadh bheith ina abhar cúrama a bheidh sa liosta sin, ach cuid acu adeirim; ná ní de réir ord a dtábhachta a raghaidh mé i mbun an chuid sin féin a tharraint anuas. Níor chóir a cheapadh ach oiread go mbéadh sé iondéanta iomlán a mbeidh á lua agam a thabhairt chun críche in achar goirid.
Ba é an chéad dualgas a chonaictheas dom bheith orm caint agus comhrá bheith agam le ionadaithe ó na cumainn oideachais fré chéile. Ina measc siúd tá feicthe agam go dtí seo ionadaithe ó Chumann na Múinteoirí Náisiúnta, Cumann na Meánmhúinteoirí, Cumann na nGairmMhúinteoirí, Cumann Bhainisteoirí na meán-Scoileanna agus Cumann Bhainisteoirí Cataoileacha na Scoileanna Náisiúnta. Na h-eagraíochtaí aitheanta eile, tá socair nó dá shocrú agam bheith i ndáil leo in aithghiorracht.
Tá gach uile chúis ann, ar ndóigh, le gur cheart d'Aire Oideachais bheith i ndlúthchaidreamh oiread is is féidir é le eagraíochtaí na mbainisteoirí agus na múinteoirí. Baineann an t-oideachas le leas morálta, intleachtach, fisiceach agus sóisialta ár gcloinne agus dá bhrí sin gach uile dhuine nó dream againn atá páirteach ann idir lucht Eaglaise agus lucht Stáit idir thuismitheoirí, mhúinteoirí agus lucht scolaíochta i gcoitinne tá dualgas speisialta trom ar an iomlán againn an dea-thoil, an comhoibriú agus an comhar a chothú. Is é an chaoi is fearr dar liom, leis an chuspóir sin a bhaint amach an dáilchomhairle, agus is é an manadh atá agam dá réir sin a bheith ina phrionsabal agus ina chleachtadh agam dul i mbun comhairle le gach aon lena mbaineann.
Stair na tíre, áfach, d'fhág sí córas oideachais againn a d'fhás gan mórán ord ná eagair, ach an Stát le céad bliain agus coradh ag plé uair amháin le brainse amháin de agus uair eile le brainse eile, de réir mar bhí an bhróg ag teannadh ar a leithéid seo nó ar a leithéid siúd. Níl iontas dá réir sin má tharla claonadh i ngach páirt den chóras a háird uilig bheith ar an gcuid den scéal a bhain léi féin ach go háirithe rud nach mbéadh amhlaidh dá mbéadh an córas ina aon iomlán dea-eagair amháin agus an teacht-lechéile ba dhual i ngach uile chuid de.
Is é an toradh atá air sin nach aon ribín réidh é an comhairliú, arae an té a bhfuil air dul i mbun comhairle lena lán eagraíochtaí faoina leas féin mar eagraíochtaí agus a chaithfeas ina dhiaidh sin cinneadh ar bheart a bhéas ag teacht leis an leas coiteann, is cinnte go mbeidh a chroí briste ag an moill a bhéas ann sul a mbeidh deireadh déanta. Sa sean-am, an uair nach raibh aon phráinn mhór ag baint le scéal an oideachais do bhféidir a rá nár ró-mhór an dochar an mhoill úd, má ba mhoill thar fóir féin é. Ach is neamh-ionann an lá inniu agus an tsean-aimsear. Ní fhanann tuile le trá ná níl stad ná cónaí le cur feasta ar thuile an oideachais. Ní acfainn d'aon tír feasta, beag ná mór í, a maidí a ligean le sruth sa ghnó seo. Is é fheictear dom dá réir sin gur mithid dúinne a bhfuil oideachas na tíre idir lámha againn, gur mithid dúinn breathnú fúinn is tharainn féachaint an féidir linn teacht ar mhodh is éascaí a cheapadh le comhairle a ghlacadh le chéile ná an modh a bhí ann go nuige seo.
Ba é an tslí thar gach aon tslí, mar mheasaim féin, na dreamanna go léir atá páirteach san oideachas, ó bhunscoil go h-ollscoil a gcomhairle a chur i gceann a chéile ina aon dáil amháin a bheadh mar dháil ionaid ag an iomlán acu. Dáil den sórt sin, thiocfadh léi ceisteanna ginearálta oideachais a chíoradh is a chárdáil, agus ní bhacfadh sin ar chor ar bith do gach ball aird speisialta a thabhairt ar na fadhbanna ar leith oideachais a bhainfeadh len a eagraíocht féin. An dáil chomhairlitheach atá i gceist agam d'fhéadfadh sé tuairimí cinnte a chur faoi bhráid an Aire ar iarratas uaidh sin nó ar a conlán féin. Bhéadh oifigigh na Roinne ar fáil ar ndóigh, le comhairle a ghlacadh leo de réir mar bhéadh ag teastáil. Is é an bhuaidh mhór a bheadh ag a leithéid sin de dháil, an uair a tharlódh éileamh ann ar leasú éigin i gcúrsaí oideachais, rud a bhfuil an tuar ann nach annamh a tharlóidh as seo amach, bhéadh an tAire Oideachais i riocht barúil údarásach a fháil gan mórán moille ar phrionsabal an leasúcháin a bheadh i gceist nó ar an mbealach a b'fhearr lena thabhairt i gcrích. Bua eile a bhéadh ina leithéid is ea go bhféadfadh sé tuairim lán-léir den chuid is leitheadaí a chur ar fáil d'iomlán riachtanas oideachais ár n-aois óig. Ba mhaith liom, áfach, teann a chur leis gur beag an gar a leithéid de dháilchomhairle ann gan í i riocht a cuid tuairimí ar aon tairgsint a chuirfí faoina bráid a chur ar fáil in am réasúnta goirid. Tá an lá thart, adéarfainn a mbeidh foighid ag an bpobal le moill thar fóir.
Is é tá i mo cheann, dá réir sin, ionadaithe na n-eagraíochtaí go léir ina n-aon-dáilchomhairle agus an dáilchomhairle sin i riocht tuairimí dá cuid féin maraon le comhairle, faoin ghné seo nó faoin ghné úd eile den oideachas a thabhairt uaithi don Stát.
Sin barúil anois agus siúd uaim é. Na dreamanna a bhéad i gceist, bhéadh fáilte agus fiche agam roimh aon tuairim a bhéadh le nochtadh acu ina thaobh in aithghiorracht.
Leasú amháin, abair, den chuid atá i mo cheann is ea an riachtanas, mar mheasaim, atá le scoileanna is mó ná roimhe seo a thógáil as seo amach, má tá an t-aos óg uile le leas iomlán a bhaint as éifeacht ár gcuid múinteoirí. Ní hé atá i mo cheann, ar ndóigh, slat draíochta a chuirfeadh deireadh in aon oíche amháin lena bhfuil de scoileanna aon-mhúinteora nó beirt mhúinteoirí in Éirinn. Ní féidir an scéal a réiteach ach de réir a chéile, ach mar sin féin caithfear teacht ar réiteach, más linn leas iomlán a bhaint as ár gcuid múinteoirí, dea-cháilithe dúthrachtach mar tharla iad.
Ar runga eile den dréimire acadúil, an áit ar tharla meánscoil agus gairmscoil le taobh a chéile, rud nach annamh, dfhéadfaí a fhiafraí an dtarlaíonn ó am go h-am ar an aon-bhaile beirt mhúinteoir ar aon cháilíocht ag téagasc an aon-ábhair, ach iad i dhá scoil, agus go mba leor múinteoir amháin don iomlán, go háithrid má tharla scoil éigin eile ar lorg múinteora a mbéadh an cháilíocht cheanann chéanna sin aige agus gan é le fáil aici. Bhfuil sli ann in áiteacha do dhá scoil maide is uisce á thógáil dá chéile de thairbhe ranganna áirithe de. Tá ceist ansin nár mhiste machnamh a dhéanamh air, ach ceist nach mbéadh a réiteach i ndán gan gach uile duine agus dreama a mbéadh pairt acu leis an ngnó bheith sásta cur le chéile ar mhaithe leis na páistí.
Ansin, tá scéal na scoileanna coimsitheacha ann. Tá a lán daoine a bhfuil eagla orthu roimh na scoileanna seo. Dár leo, cén áit agus cén gnó atá ag a leithéid sin scoile in Éirinn? Níl fáth ná réasún lena n-eagla. Córas na meánscoileanna agus na ngairmscoileanna, níl éinne ag cuimhneamh, ná ní raibh riamh, ar na scoileanna coimsitheacha a chur in áit an chórais sin, óir an tseirbhís atá ag na meánscoileanna agus na gairmscoileanna á thabhairt, níl malairt le déanamh air. Is é an gnó atá ceapaithe go príomha do na scoileanna coimsitheacha an tseirbhís sin a shíneadh is a leitheadú go hiomlán, ar bhealach nua, in áiteacha nár tharla dóithin di ann faoi láthair nó, de réir mar is féidir a fheiceáil, san am le teacht.
Ach ní hé tús agus deireadh gnó na scoileanna coimsitheacha bearna, mór nó beag í, a líonadh. Is é a fheicim iontu, freisin, scoileanna a thabharfaidh treoir agus cinnireacht san iarbhunoideachas i gcoitinne. Lena chois sin beidh siad ina snáithe ceangail idir an dá chineál iarbhunscoile atá againn cheana. Ina chuideachta sin arís, is maith an talamh iad le tús ceart a dhéanamh le córas de threoir ghairmiúil, tús a bhféadfadh foireann na scoile agus an speisialtóir sa ghnó sin lán-lámh a thabhairt dá chéile ann. Dá thairbhe sin de, ní miste dom a rá go bhfuil socair agus gur goirid anois go gceapfar ceathrar síceolaithe sa Roinn Oideachais, na céad síceolaithe a bhí ag an Roinn riamh.
Is minic a chuirtear síos dúinn mar Éireannaigh go bhfuilimid ar gcúl i ngné amháin nó gné eile den oideachas agus bhféidir sinn i gcuid chothrom nó, dá nabrainn é, chun tosaigh ar a bhfuil ag dul ar aghaidh sa ghné úd i dtíortha eile. Ach faraor, ní hamhlaidh dúinn sa tsiceolaíocht ná sa taighde i gcúrsaí oideachais. San am i láthair, cuir i gcás, is beag tír atá gan trialacha oideachais bheith i ngnáthúsáid inti, ach an fíorbheagán dá leithéid atá ar siúl againne, is róbhaol nach bhfuil dul as againn ach bheith ag brath ar thrialacha a ceapadh do thíortha eile an chéad lá, tíortha ar neamh-ionann a stair, a dtoscaí sóisialta agus an cineáil saoil atá roimh na páistí i gcoitinne iontu, ar neamh-ionann iad sin agus an chaoi a bhfuil an scéal in Éirinn.
Tá mé ag cur rómham féachaint chuige nach ag brath ar an bhfear thall a bheimíd feasta de thairbhe a leithéid.
Le hiompó ar na scoileanna coimsitheacha, is iomdha uair a fhia-fraithear cén rud díreach iad agus céard díreach a bheidh siad a dhéanamh. Is amhlaidh a bheidh gach ceann acu ag riar ar limistéar maith tíre limistéar ar gath dó timpeall deich míle de ghnáth. Scoileanna móra bhéas iontu dá réir sin agus ó tharla cead isteach ag gach éinne, is iomdha leibhéal éirime agus is iomdha saghas luí seachas a chéile a bheidh ina lucht freastail. Rud nua é sin in Éirinn, cé go bhfuil a lán eile tíortha nach aon nuaíocht iontu é.
Feidhm an-tábhachtach a bhéas acu is ea a fháil amach cén éirim aigne nó éirim eile a tharla ag na daltaí agus cén luí a tharla acu le ábhar amháin seachas a chéile agus an éirim agus an luí sin a chur chun a chaite, sa chaoi go dtig leo ina gcuid iarbhunoideachais an lorg a leanúint is fearr a fheileann dóibh nó is mó a bhfuil luí acu leis. Ullmhúchán don tsaol is ea an t-oideachas, i gcuideachta na cuideachta, agus dá réir sin ba cheart dó treoir a thabhairt i dtreo na ngairmeacha inar dóigh go néireódh leis an dalta go rathúil. Leis an taobh sin den obair a thabhairt i gcrích mar ba chóir, caithfear riar leitheadach ábhar a thairgsint, caithfear riar ar na teangacha, an eolaíocht, na ceardanna, an stair agus na healaíona. Riar leitheadach den sórt sin, ní bhéadh sé iondéanta ach i scoil mhór—mór i bhfarradh an ní a bhfuilimíd ina chleachtadh in Éirinn—maraon le foireann mhór múinteoirí.
An dalta a bhéas ag dul isteach i scoil choimsitheach, beidh air ábhair áirithe a ghlacadh, mar atá. Teagasc Críostaí, Gaeilge, Béarla, Matamaitic agus rogha ar ábhair lámh-is-súile, maraon le oiliúint choirp, an saoránaíochas agus an ceol. Caithfidh sé, abair, dhá dtrian dá sheachtain scoile i mbun na n-ábhar sin. An trian eile dá cuid ama, bhéadh sin tugtha do na hábhair a bhfearr leis féin as an eolaíocht nua-theangacha srl. Le linn na dtrí bhliain roimh scrúdú na Meánteistiméireachta bheadh sé faoi ghrinnbhreithniú agus an éirim agus an acfainn a roinn Dia air á mheas go cúramach, sa chaoi go bhféadfaí ag deireadh na réimhse sin comhairle agus treoir choiteann a thabhairt dá thuismitheoirí faoin treó in arbh é a leas a aghaidh a thabhairt, gairm theicniceach nó cúrsa acadúil nó rud eile. An dalta a bhéas ábalta agus sásta cúrsa Ardteistiméireachta a leanúint, tabharfar deis dó é sin a dhéanamh sna h-ábhair inar fearr a chruthaigh sé go dtí sin.
Ní miste a rá go bhfuil beartaithe agam cabhair na síceolaithe scoile úd a bhéas ag an Roinn a chur ar fáil do lucht údaráis na scoileanna seo, le cuidiú leo na daltaí a mheas agus a threorú. Tá rún agam freisin caint agus cíoradh bheith ann go minic leis na tuismitheoirí faoin dul ar aghaidh a bhéas á dhéanamh ag na daltaí agus faoin luí atá acu.
Na socruithe i gcomhair bainisteoireachta atá ceaptha do na scoileanna coimsitheacha, is é sin, ionadaí an Easpaig, ionadaí an Stáit agus PríomhOifigeach Feidhmiúcháin an Choiste Gairm-oideachais bheith páirteach le chéile ina gcoiste ceannais, léiríonn siad chomh solúbtha is atá ár gcóras oideachais agus conas is féidir é do chur in oiriúint d'aidhmeanna éagsúla gan dochar do bhun-phrionsabail.
Dála an scéil, is é an fhianaise is fearr nach é atá i gceist na scoileanna coimsitheacha do ghlacadh áit na meánscoileanna, ná gurbhé an tAire Oideachais a bhí ann rómham a chéad-thug isteach riamh scéim deontas díreach tógála do na meánscoileanna. Bhí sé in am, áfach, an coimsitheachas freisin a thabhairt isteach i gcóras na hÉireann, arae tá buanna dó féin ag an gcineál sin scoile, agus is maith liom a bheith le rá agam go bhfuil cuid de na meánscoileanna féin atá ag cuimhneamh ar a gcuid cúrsaí a dhíriú sa treo sin. Ní thógfar orm é má luaim péire ina measc sin, mar atá, Coláiste Cheathrú an Tobair agus an Mhainistir Thuaidh, dhá scoil a bhfuil clú agus cáil orthu agus fonn agus flosc orthu a leitheadú dá réir sin. Is maith ann fonn agus flosc den sórt sin. Tuar é ar an lorg is dócha a bhéas á leanúint san iarbhunoideachas againn amach anseo. De mo thairbhe féin de, níl mé i ngeall le aon saghas scoile seachas a chéile. Is é is mian liom gach uile shaghas scoile ag tairgsint oiread ábhar is a thig léi agus caighdeán ard sa chiall is iomláine aici lena linn.
Ó thaobh an dul chun cinn sóisialta is é an fhadhb is géire agus is práinní ardleibhéal iarbhunoideachais a chur ar fáil don chuid is mó is is féidir dár n-aos óg. Tá rún agam iomlán mó chuid urraidh a leagan amach air sin. Ar iomad plánaí a chaithfear tabhairt faoi. Caithfear i gcuideachta na cuideachta a bhfuil de dheiseanna sa chóras cheana féin a chur in úsáid níos fearr, deiseanna nua agus tuilleadh scoláireachtaí a chur ar fáil agus na cúrsaí agus na caighdeáin oideachais atá ann cheana féin a aithbhreithniú. Ní haon áibhéil é, adéarfainn, a rá go bhféadfadh leas an náisiúin san am le teacht bheith i muinín réiteach na faidhbe seo. Ó tharla dá réir sin a mhéid de leas an naisiún is tá i gceist, is cinnte mé go mbeidh gach uile dhuine is dream lena mbaineann sásta comhoibriú fá chroí mhór mhaith sa ghnó seo agus nach féidir a bheith i gceist aon bhacaint bheith ar ár n-iarrachtaí tré leas cumhang aicmeach ar bith bheith á chur ar bhéal leas an náisiúin.
Is é is mian liom ónár gcóras i gcoitinne é do thabhairt dea-oideachas, agus an dea-oideachas sin bheith feiliúnach agus le fáil ag gach uile dhuine dár n-aos óg a bhéas á éileamh.
Tá tagairt déanta agam dár gcaighdeáin oideachais. Creidim nár mhiste a n-aithbhreithniú. Teastas na mBunscoileanna, an Grúp-Theastas, an Mheán Teistiméireacht agus an Ardteistiméireacht, bhfuil a gcaighdeán sin ar aon chéim leis an gcaighdeán a mbeifí ag siúl leis ó dhaoine óga den ghrád sin i dtíortha eile? Bhfuil ár gcuid cúrsaí léinn ag tabhairt dóithin oiliúinte le haghaidh an chineáil saoil agus na ngairmeacha beatha atá roimh an aos óg amach? Bhfuil ár gcuid Scrúdaithe ag teacht i gceart le éirim agus luí na bpáistí? Bhfuil siad ag riar sáthach maith, cuir i gcás, ar labhairt na dteangacha?
Ceisteanna iad sin atá foscailte, mar adéarfá, ach fillfidh mé ó áird eile ar an gceann deireannach acu ar ball beag. Idir an dá am is mian liom treis a chur ar an ní nach é an cumas ná an t-eolas intleachtúil tús agus deireadh na scolaíochta. Mar adúirt an té adúirt é, ní hé cuspóir an oideachais diabhail chliste a chur ar fáil. An dea-mhúineadh, muna mbéadh ann ach sin leis féin, is mór an bláth ar éinne, ó dhuine liath go leanbh, é. Go bunúsach is é rud is dea-bhéasa ann caitheamh go córtasach leis an gcomharsain, ach amach ón duine aonraic a dhéanann amhlaidh, tá ceist eile ann, mar atá, go bhfuil córtas ag dul mar an gcéanna ón saoránach don Stát agus don phobal. An saoránaíochas a tugtar air sin sa chlár scoile. Eachtraí ár staire, níor dhual dóibh an cineál sin saoránaíochais a chothu ionainn, arae ar feadh na gcéadta bliain bhí trom na meidhe i leith Stáit Ghallda agus lucht ceannais a bhí námhadach do ghnáthmhuintear na tíre seo. Ach altú do Dhia gur imig an lá sin agus is é ár ndualgas anois bheith ag cothú dílseacht agus bród inár n-aos óg i leith an phobail dár díobh iad. Is é an aon tslí amháin le teacht air sin ná tuigsint níos fearr a thabhairt dóibh ar an gcor sóisialta agus ar na h-institiúdí sóisialta atá againn. Táthar ag cur faoi bhráid na scoileanna dá réir sin san am i láthair gur chuí rannóg faoi leith bheith ar an gclár scoile faoi Saoránaíochas. Ní mar ábhar scrúdúcáin a bhéadh an rannóg sin ann, arae i gcúrsaí saoránaíochais ní hé an litir ach an spiorad is tábhachtach, ach mar sin féin mar ábhar a gcaithfear am a fháil dó.
An Saoránaíochas, an Stair, an Ghaeilge agus, ar ndóigh, an Teagasc Críostaí, i mo bharúlse is iad sin na h-eochair-ábhair sa mhéid a bhaineann len ár gcultúr dúchais féin a chaomhnú is a fhorbairt. An cultúr dúchais sin, is fada uaidh é bheith scaite amach leis féin ná gar dó féin. Cuid iomláinteach de shibhialtacht na hEorpa é. An Teagasc Críostaí sna scoileanna, is don Eaglais a riar sin, ach, ó thaobh ár ndualgais náisiúnta, de na trí ábhar saolta atá luaite agam is í an Ghaeilge atá i bhfíorthosach. Ní rún dom léacht a thabhairt don Teach faoi sin. Is é a n-abróidh mé faoi go bhfuil beart á dhéanamh agam faoi láthair leis an bpolasaí atá leagtha amach sa Pháipéar Bán a chur i bhfeidhm. Bhí labhairt na Gaeilge ar na h-aidhmeanna ar ar leag Tuairisc an Choimisiúin agus an Páipéar Bán an dá cheann acu, béim faoi leith. Ina thaobh sin tá beartaithe agam comhairle a glacadh leis na scoileanna agus le lucht ceannais na hollscoile faoina thuilleadh treise a chur ar chumas labhartha Gaeilge i Scrúdú na hArd Teistiméireachta, de réir mar a fógraíodh nuair a tugadh isteach an bhéaltriail an chéad uair. Tá socair agam freisin a bhreithniú, i gcomhairle leis na scoileanna agus na múinteoirí, c'iad na slite agus na modhanna inar bhféidir cumas labhartha Gaeilge a chur níos faide chun tosaigh ag leibhéal na Meánteistiméireachta, an Ghrúp Theastais agus Teastas na mBunscoileanna. Ina theannta sin arís tá mé chun ceist na mbéaltrialach a thabhairt isteach i leith teangacha na Mór-Roinne a iniúchadh.
Lena thuilleadh ábhar léitheoireachta agus téacsleabhar Gaeilge a sholáthar, is gearr go mbunófar Bord Comhairleach faoi mar tá leagtha amach sa Pháipéar Bán. Idir an dá am tá mé ag cur foireann Bhrainse Foilseachán na Roinne Oideachais á neartú, óir is ar an mBrainse cuid mhaith, a thuitfidh moltaí an Bhoird Chomhairligh a chur i ngníomh. Tá faoi bhreithniú freisin beartanna eile le eolas ar an nGaeilge a leathnú agus fógrófar iad sin de réir mar a bheidh siad le teacht i bhfeidhm.
Cabhair ón Stát i gcoitinne, ní do lucht ard-éirime atá sé dlite ar fad. Tá daltaí eile ann agus is mó atá sé dlite dóibh ná fiú lucht na h-ardéirime, mar atá, an dream atá ina ghá. Ina leith sin ba mhaith liom tagairt a dhéanamh do Thuairisc an Choimisiúin um Míchumas Meabhrach a cuireadh ar bun roinnt bhliain ó shoin ag an Aire Sláinte. Tuairisc fíorthábhachtach é a bhfuil anchreidiúint ag dul do bhaill an Choimisiún dá thairbhe. Leagann sé amach plean le cúram a dhéanamh de na páistí agus tá mé ag iarraidh ar na Teachtaí an plean a léamh, óir tá sé lán spéise. Snáithe is mór le rá atá fite tríd is ea an riachtanas atá ann lena thuilleadh eile comhair bheith ann idir an Roinn Sláinte agus an Roinn Oideachais más linn cúram láncheart a dhéanamh de na páistí seo. Táthar faoi láthair ag cur chun ComhChoiste a chur ar bhun lena aghaidh sin.
Anois nuair atá an Coimisiún um Míchumas Meabhrach tar éis a thuarascáil a chur i láthair an Aire Sláinte tá sé tráthúil breithniú a dhéanamh ar riachtanaisí na ndaltaí scoile sin nach n-aireofaí ina ndaltaí a bhfuil Míchumas Meabhrach orthu atá go mór ar gcúl ina gcuid scolaíochta. Tá dhá aicme i gceist agam: an chéad cheann, daltaí a bhfuil cumas íseal intleachta acu agus atá dá thoradh sin ar gcúl ina rang: an dara ceann, daltaí a bhfuil gnáthchumas nó fiú amháin ardchumas intleachta acu ach nach bhfuil a n-inmheacht oideachais mar a bheadh súil leis ó dhalta gnáthchumais, pé acu de dheasca drochthinrimh nó timpeallacht teaghlaigh, easláinte nó cúis nó fáth ar bith eile é.
Tá fúm, mar sin, coiste eolaithe a cheapadh go luath ar a mbeidh múinteoirí, síceolaithe, oifigigh ó mo Roinn féin, mar aon le duine den lucht leighis agus na téarmaí tagartha seo a leanas a thabhairt don gcoiste sin:
Taighde a dhéanamh agus tuarascáil a sholáthar faoi mhéid agus fáthanna moilliú oideachais i ndaltaí scoile; scóip agus cineál na mbearta is gá chun oiliúint shásúil a chur ar dhaltaí atá ar gcúl; an curaclam a oireann dóibh, agus na cáilíochtaí a n-éileofar ar mhúinteoirí a bheidh á dteagasc.
Iarrfaidh mé ar an gcoiste tuarascáil a chur ar fáil dom taobh istigh de bhliain.
Tuairisc eile a fhoilseofar go fíorluath, tuairisc a mbeidh an-tábhacht ag baint leis sean freisin i leith na pleanála mar mheasaim, is ea an tuairisc ar an infheistiú san Oideachas a bunaíodh ag an Aire a bhí ann romham i gcomhar le OECD.
Ó tharla tuairisc an Choimisiúin um Ard-Oideachas ar slí a chríochnaithe, níorbhé mo cheart, sílim, mionscrúdú a dhéanamh ar na gnéithe éagsúla den oideachas sin. Ach is é mo bhreith is mo bhreithiúnas go bhfuil an-chuid forbairte is beartaíochta rómhainn sa taobh sin den oideachas freisin.
Tá a lán ní luaite agam anois ar a gcaithfear áird a thabhairt agus cuid acu ní amach anseo ach ar ala na huaire a bheidh siad ag bruith. Tá sé ag siúl leis an dul chun cinn san oideachas, áfach, nach luaithe fadbh amháin fuascailte ná siúd an bealach reitithe le haghaidh riachtanais eile. Anois ní gan mórán dá dhua ná gan mórán ama ná allais is féidir dul ar aghaidh, agus sin go háirithe i gcás na Roinne Oideachais, arae is sa Roinn sin i gcead di nó ar neamhchead di a chaithfidh an tionscnamh agus an teacht aniar a bheith lonnaithe, más léi an t-ualach trom freagraíoctha a bhéas uirthi a iompar. Tá mé ag déanamh riar dá réir sin le brainse forbairte a bhunú sa Roinn agus Rúnaí Cúnta breise ina cheannas. Is é an feidhm a bhéas ag an mBrainse Forbairte staitistí a bhailiú faoi na deiseanna oideachais atá ann agus faoi nithe eile dá réir agus, i gcomhar leis na brainsí eile agus le gach aon lena mbaineann, pleanáil a dhéanamh, comhairle a ghlacadh, gríosú a dhéanamh, clár na gcéimeanna chun tosaigh a leagan amach agus féachaint chuige go gcuirfear i ngníomh an feabhsú agus an leasú atá le déanamh ar an oideachas. Is é mo chreideamh gur tháinig an uair lena aghaidh sin uile.
Leasú den chuid is tábhachtaí ar fad, leasú, maise, a thugann leis ar shlí, an t-iomlán eile in éineacht is ea an aois fágála scoile a ardú. Faoin bhliain 1970 is beag tír san Eoraip a mbeidh an aois fágála scoile faoi bhun chúig bliain déag inti. Má táimíd leis an gcuspóir sin a bhaint amach mar chách, ní hí an bliain 1969 an t-am le tosnú ar an bpleanáil chuige ach i mbliana. Aois fágála na scoile a ardú, ní bheidh sin comh héascaí is a cheapann cuid de na daoine, bhféidir. Beidh ag gabháil leis gach uile fhadhb oideachais, beagnach, ar bhféidir cuimhneamh air. Foirgintí, foireann mhúinteoirí, cúrsaí, éirim agus luí na bpáistí, cóir iompair, níl ansin ach cuid de na deacractha sóisialta nó eacnamaíochta a bheidh san áireamh. D'fhéadfadh an saothar bheith níos achrannaí, maise, ná mar is féidir a fheiceáil uainn go fóill, ach tá an bheart ag dul dár n-aos óg, más leo a sheans bheith ag gach duine acu. Tá sé air againn dá réir sin tabhairt faoi le misneach, le mórchomhar óna chéile agus le meanmain.

Sílim gurab í an chuid ba thábhachtaí den ráiteas a thug an tAire uaidh an méid adubhairt sé linn ag a dheireadh. Sa chéad chuid rinne sé tagairt don méid airgid a chuirtear ar fáil anois le h-aghaidh bunoideachais, meánoideachais, ceárdoideachais agus eile. Sa chuid dheireanach dá ráiteas, thagair sé dona tuairimí atá aige maidir leis an saghas córais atá againn agus an saghas córais ba mhian leis d'fheiscint sa tír seo.

Is léir ón méid sin go bhfuil an tAire nua ag leanúint lorg an iar-Aire maidir le feabhas a chur ar an gcóras oideachais. Is é rud atá ar intinn ag gach éinne feabhas a chur ar an gcóras oideachais. Ní h-ionann sin is a rá go bhfuil an córas atá againn faoi láthair go dona ach go bhfuil gá le feabhas a chur air ar mhaithe leis na páistí. Ba chóir dúinn oiread stáidéir agus is féidir linn a dhéanamh féachaint an féidir linn dul ar aghaidh níos tapúla a dhéanamh ar mhaithe le páistí na tíre.

Ba cheart plean a cheapadh a bheadh oiriúnach d'oideachas na tíre seo — bunoideachas, meánoideachas, ceárdoideachas, agus fiú oideachas iolscoile. Bhíos ag súil go mbéadh rud éigin le rá ag an Aire tar éis an méid stáidéir a rinne sé cheana féin ar an dtuarascáil le h-aghaidh cúrsaí ardoideachas sa tír seo.

Bhí mé ag súil go mbeadh rud éigin le rá aige mar gheall ar leathnú na n-ollscoileanna mar is ceist í sin atá á plé ag mórán daoine faoi láthair. Ba chóir dúinn a chur in n-iúl don phobal cén seift atá beartaithe againn mar gheall ar sin. Is maith an rud é, mar sin, go bhfuil an t-Aire ag brath ar chomhoibriú leis na daoine go bhfuil baint acu le cúrsaí oideachais sa tír seo—na h-oifigí go bhfuil cúram na h-oibre seo orthu, na daoine sna bunscoileanna, iad siúd atá ag obair ins na scoileanna. Baineann an gnó seo ní h-amháin leis na páistí ach leis na tuismitheoirí freisin. Dá bhrí sin, is cúis áthais dom féin agus dona Teachtaí ar an dtaobh seo den Tí go bhfuil sé ar intinn ag an Aire cainteanna a bheith aige leis na dreamanna a luaigh sé. Is soiléir anois agus is mithid go bhfuil síceolaithe á gcur ar fáil sa Roinn Oideachais. Scríobhadh a lán le déanaí mar gheall ar an gcúram atá ar dhaoine go bhfuil páistí acu nach bhfuil chomh cliste leis an gnáthpháiste. Tá páistí in áiteanna ar fud na tíre agus, go dtí seo, níl sáthach oibre déanta chun scolaíocht speisialta a chur ar fáil dóibh. Is maith an rud é go bhfuil tús curtha leis an dtriail oideachais seo.

Rinne an t-Aire tagairt dona scoileanna coimsitheacha úd. Sin rud a bhí ag déanamh tinnis dá lán. Tá buairt aigne orthu faoi cad tá beartaithe ag an Aire agus ag oifigí na Roinne ina dtaobh. San ráiteas a thug sé chuaigh an t-Aire cuid den bhóthar ag nochtadh na smaointe atá aige ar an ábhar so.

Maidir leis an úsáid a bhainfear as ag gcóras oideachais iar-bhunscoile atá ann faoi láthair, brathann sin ar na scoileanna beaga atá scaipthe ar fud na tíre. Tá roinnt mhaith acu ann. Chím sa ráiteas a chuir an t-Aire chugam go bhfaghann páistí meánoideachas i 336 dena scoileanna úd ina bhfuil 150 páistí nó níos lua. Tá 573 scoileanna den tsaghas sin ann ar fad. Os mar sin atá an scéal, is léir gur ar na scoileanna beaga sin a bhrathann an páiste chun oideachas níos fearr d'fháil. Agus an scéal amhlaidh, ba chóir don Aire pé cabhair is féidir leis a thabhairt i bhfoirm deontas dona scoileanna sin.

Ní ins na scoileanna cónaithe atá scaipthe ar fud na tíre a bhfaghann an chuid is mó dena páistí an iarscolaíocht is maith leo d'fháil. Maidir leis an saghas sin oideachais, sílim nár dearnadh an dul ar aghaidh ba chóir a bheith déanta roimh bhunú gairmscoileanna go flúirseach. Is eol dom go bhfuil ar choistí gairmoideachais pleananna a dhéanamh le h-aghaidh tógáil na scoileanna seo agus go dtógann sé roinnt mhaith aimsire. Sílim go bhfuil orainn é sin a dhéanamh gan mhoill. Ba chóir an cúram sin a bheith orainn. De réir mar a chloisimíd, amach anso beidh ár sá buartha orainn a thuilleadh scoileanna gairmoideachais a chur ar bun i dtreo go mbeidh deis níos fearr ag páistí na h-Éireann slí beatha a bhaint amach dóibh féin.

Tá rud eile fós ann agus is rud rí-thábhachtach é. Caithfimid sinn féin d'ullmhú le h-aghaidh na réime atá ag teacht, go h-áirithe nuair a thugaimid aghaidh ar an gComhargadh.

Is maith liom freisin nach bhfuil an t-Aire ag déanamh faillí ins na cúrsaí a chuirfear ar fáil insna scoileanna agus go bhfuil sé ag tabhairt aire don chaighdeán maidir leis na teastais éagsúla.

Tagradh do labhairt na teangan. Beidh a thuilleadh le rá agam mar gheall ar an gceist sin amach anseo. Tá áthas orm a chloisint go bhfuil an tAire ag iniúchadh na ceiste seo. Dubhairt sé gurab é rud a bhí uainn córas oideachais níos fearr a chur ar fáil. Ní h-ionann sin is a rá nach bhfuil an córas atá againn féin chomh maith leis an gcóras atá i bhfeidhm i dtíortha eile. Dar liomsa go bhfuil. Tá gá le plean iomlán. Caithfimid tosnú insna bunscoileanna agus deimhin a dhéanamh de go mbeidh deis ag ár gcuid páistí freastal ar na meánscoileanna, na ceardscoileanna agus na h-ollscoileanna de réir mar is mian leo. Beidh ar gach duine go bhfuil baint aige le cúrsaí oideachais comhoibriú san oibir thábhachtach seo i dtreó go mbeidh an toradh is fearr le fáil.

Tá sé ar intinn ag an Aire moltaí an Pháipéar Bháin a chur chun cinn. Faoi láthair cloistear tuairmí éagsúla i dtaobh na ceiste seo. Tá súil agam go mbéidh seans againn an Páipéar Bán sin a chíoradh agus go mbéidh caoi againn leis, ár dtuairimí féin agus ár gcuspóir féin a chuir faoi bhráid na tíre.

Tá rud amháin is fiú a rá anois. Táimíd i bhfábhar leathnú na Gaeilge ar fud na tíre. Ní hamháin go bhfuilimid fábharach dó ach tá suim mhór againn anois sa dul chun cinn sin. Bhí suim againn i gcónaí sa cheist gan trácht ar inniu. Má cheistimíd na módhanna a h-úsáideadh go dtí seo, ní h-ionann sin is a rá nach bhfuil suim againn i gceist na Gaeilge, i ndul chun cinn na Gaeilge agus i gcultúr na Gaeilge. Éinne a cheapann a mhalairt tá breall air. Is léir ón méid staidéir, ón méid cainte agus cómhrá a deineadh go bhfuil gá leis an staidéair seo. Is maith an rud é go bhfuil iarracht eile á déanamh chun an cuspóir a chur i gcrích.

It is appropriate that the debate on Education which the Minister initiated here this morning should take place at this time of the year. A large number of our young people are at the moment testing their educational abilities on the problems posed by examiners. At this time of the year the Minister has an opportunity, which he has availed of, at some of the functions that take place in our secondary schools, to reveal his intentions and express his admiration of the various things he has seen during his visits to the schools.

One of the things which the Minister's statement in this House ought to reveal is his aims in regard to education. Certainly, the House expects a review of education for the past year and when the Minister presents his Estimate here and asks for money for the various services, the House expects to get an account of his stewardship regarding moneys made available on the previous occasion. That has been done in his lengthy statement to the House this morning. The Minister has traced the growth of progress in regard to the various branches of education for which he is responsible.

I am especially glad to see in the second portion of his statement that the Minister has gone some way towards revealing what is in his mind in regard to education in this country. One of the important things, perhaps, the most important thing, in life at the moment and in the foreseeable future, is the education we give our young people to fit them for the type of life they will follow, be it materialistic, cultural or even spiritual. Certainly, any system of education which would ignore any of these is not a true system of education. I am glad, for that reason, to see that the Minister has, if I may say so, broken new ground in that respect. In presenting his views this morning he has given us and the country an opportunity for wider discussion on what our aims ought to be in this regard.

I think, briefly, we must envisage a comprehensive plan for education, a type of plan which will dovetail. The Minister referred to the situation whereby different systems of education existed, in more or less watertight compartments up to this. That will no longer prevail and we will get an integrated system whereby the child and his parents from the earliest stages will know the lines along which the child might proceed.

We have in this country a system of primary education which is compulsory from the age of six to 14 years. I think it will be accepted by everybody that the upper age limit ought to be raised, but the Minister points out there will be difficulties. The fact that there will be difficulties does not invalidate the argument that we ought to raise the school-leaving age. I should like at this stage to express the opinion that if we allow a gap to intervene, whereby children of 14 years and up to 15 and 16 become available for what you might call the labour market, it is not desirable. If we cannot fill the gap at the stage when children leaving the primary school have nowhere to go for some type of continuation education, whether in the vocational or secondary school, there is a danger they will be imposed on and children of that age may find themselves taking up a type of employment deemed unsuitable for them and which is certainly taking away from a child's life much too early.

It is bound to happen that these children will have to take on jobs involving labour of any kind, and this will create in the child a sense of frustrated childhood. I think, therefore, the Minister ought to give serious consideration to the raising of the school-leaving age in progressive stages, if not immediately, first and foremost to the age of 15. In that respect the Minister mentions a question of difficulty regarding trained staff. That will be a difficulty at any stage, whether it will come in 1970 or later. The Minister mentioned that we must prepare now. At all stages we must be prepared for what will happen in the years ahead. Might I suggest to the Minister that in the schools and under the system which we have at present there would not be any great difficulty, in this age of prefabs, in extending existing schools where children might obtain post-primary or, what one might call, ante-technical education? This would not involve great difficulty for the Department.

We had in the past, and still have, the travelling teacher who works under the aegis of the vocational education committee. There is, indeed, in this country a wealth of graduates leaving our universities every year who in many cases have to seek employment abroad. I think we might avail of their abilities and skills in providing a stop-gap, if you like, in the meantime. This would certainly provide an opportunity for many more children to avail of education at the vital age of 14. This is a time when the child is making his first contact with adult life. The Minister spoke about psychologists in the Department being available to advise. I think it would indeed be an opportune time if a teacher with the necessary skills were available to visit the schools in the capacity I have mentioned. They would be able to help children at that age and obviate what is now a growing problem.

The need for the extension of technical education is important and equally important is the need for higher technical education which should follow on the courses pursued in the technical schools, with logically after that an extension of university education. If we have a comprehensive plan like that, and if we follow it, we will be laying the foundation of a system of education which will be an improvement on the system we have at the moment.

I want to pay tribute to the system we have, lest anyone should think that in advocating that we should make advances in this respect, I am finding fault with the system we have. I do not want to give that impression because I think we have a good system of education, but we cannot afford to stand still. We cannot afford to be complacent. We must keep up with the times. Every country in the world today is seeking to improve its educational facilities, and with the competition in the world today there is no doubt that the skills we need can be obtained by educating the child to the best of its ability in the particular skills the child may have.

In the field of post-primary education, we have a number of smaller type schools which are providing secondary education for the pupils in their areas. The question of comprehensive schools has been mentioned. We should not lose sight of the fact that scattered throughout the country we have a large number of schools which have been providing a satisfactory type of education. We should build on the system we have at present. I should like to see specialisation, particularly where vocational schools are concerned. If the institution of the new certificate, and the mind searching which will go with it to assess the aptitude of the pupils, enables the pupils to proceed to more specialised courses it will be very well worth the effort.

I should like to deal now with primary education, which is the foundation stone on which all education is built. We should try to make the period in the primary schools more effective so far as the children are concerned. This would entail two things. It would entail raising the school-leaving age and a more punctual and effective attendance at school if parents could be induced to take the necessary interest in it. Efforts have been made for some years to reduce the number of pupils who fall to be dealt with by a teacher. That has helped very much in the cities in the larger schools. There is also the difficulty in the smaller schools to which the Minister referred, and to which I will refer at a later stage.

The lowering of the number of pupils in the care of a teacher will, I believe, lead to a better standard because there is a relationship between good teaching and the number of pupils to be taught by each teacher. There is a very direct link there. There is also the question of the amount of time which a teacher can give for individual attention to a pupil who may be finding it difficult to keep up. That problem has been referred to by the Commission on Mental Handicap. We have in our schools, and will have for years to come, children with different IQ ratings. The teacher has a responsibility not to neglect children who are retarded as against children who can advance more quickly. If he is to fulfil his vocation as a teacher, he must not neglect them just because he has brighter pupils who can go ahead more quickly.

The role of the schools in regard to the Irish language is very much spoken of at present. It is refreshing to find that it has become accepted that it is not the sole responsibility of the schools. In the schools we have been doing what we could over the years. The methods which we have used, and the traditional methods, have not perhaps achieved the desired results. The Minister will have to face up to the question of whether we are to insist on the spoken language, or continue with written Irish and the grammar and reading of the language. The Minister has had the advantage of seeing what was said recently by the President of the Congress of Primary Teachers at Galway. This question has been to the forefront in any discussions which have taken place. One of the essentials in teaching the language to children is to give them a vocabulary and that takes quite some time. It is a gradual growth, and consequently the amount of time spent in speaking the language is important.

We must accept that we have to murder a language to speak it. By that I mean that we must encourage the children to speak it even if they make grammatical mistakes. For that reason the cardinal principle must be to give primary importance to the oral expression of the language. At a later stage we can catch up with the grammar and reading of the language.

One of the things which have struck me over the years is the question of whether children must be taught all subjects through the medium of Irish in order to speak Irish. Anyone who has read the various statements issued from the Department knows that this is not an essential. I think it has always been recognised that the surest guide in this respect should be the teacher who is in close touch with the pupils and knows their abilities, and who knows whether the child is able to take subjects through Irish.

For quite a number of years I taught subjects through the medium of Irish and found that advance was not made either in the subjects being taught through Irish or in Irish itself. The advance made was not in keeping with the effort put into the teaching. Then we taught the language intensively with two school subjects and found we made far better progress. We found the pupils could speak Irish as well as in any other part of the country. They were quite capable of conducting conversations in Irish even at very high levels and they did not lose anything in the process.

The important thing is that the language itself be taught and that the children be helped to acquire fluency in it. If it is the restoration of the language we seek, our main object should be to avoid imposing difficulties associated with the teaching of strange subjects on a child through a medium to which the child is not accustomed. That is where the judgment of the teachers must come in. The Department should leave the matter to the good judgment of the teachers.

One other point to which I should like to refer in this context is that under the present system when we come to judge the child at the end of its primary school course in regard to progress in the Irish language, we do so through the medium of a written examination. I am glad to see the Minister is thinking of béal trialacha. How it will be done I do not know. One of the things which may frighten children off is the prospect of a written test which immediately faces the child with difficulties. If you insist on a written test, you are creating a difficulty for the child and at the same time for the people setting the written test.

In the recent paper set there were phrases used which all our children could not understand. That immediately created a difficulty for the child to express himself in a written test. It is one of the things we must try to avoid if we are to serve both the grammatical and the spoken end of Irish language teaching. If we continue with a written test, progress will be bad at the end of the year. I suggest the Minister have another look at this. Nobody is suggesting he should lower the standard but if he wants to get the spoken language advanced in the schools, he will have to reconsider the written test and, generally, the writing of Irish.

I know it will be difficult but I am looking now at this paper and find phrases used in it whose meaning would not be immediately apparent to children in different provinces where there are different communities using different phrases. It would be impossible to set a written paper which would not present difficulties for children unless we were to regionalise the papers presented.

As we move to the end of the primary school course, the Minister is considering the introduction of civics. Civics, as a formal subject, is not taught in the primary schools. Neither is it taught as a formal subject in the secondary schools which have, instead, a code taught by precept and example, without formality. Nobody will deny the need for instruction in civics but what I should like to get from the Minister is what he envisages in this respect. Does he consider the necessity for a longer school day, a larger and extended school programme?

If we extend the school programme to include civics—indeed people have been thinking of the introduction of other desirable subjects—where do we get? Do we think we can stretch the elastic and that it will not sag, that we shall not get a lessening somewhere if we try to extend effort too far? Undoubtedly there is a need for civics teaching and not alone for civics but other matters which will have to be faced as far as the training of young people is concerned. There is the general question of the conduct of pupils at that age.

It is becoming all too common nowadays to meet the situation where children reach adult life much faster than they should, where they are being brought in contact with adult life much faster, where they are learning quite a lot of things they should not learn. The growth of what one might call intemperance in the use of knives in schools is becoming quite a problem. Teachers are finding it difficult nowadays to deal with some influences in the lives of the children they have to teach.

If the introduction of civics in the school programme could remedy the situation, could improve that position, I am sure everybody concerned would make the effort but what is necessary— I have pleaded for it for it for many years— is something in the nature of guidance for children at this stage of their development. It is a healthy sign of animal spirits in a healthy child that he wants activity but the outlets nowadays bring him in conflict with what is good conduct, good civics, and the amount of minor destruction that can be caused in this way leads to a certain amount of suffering and it is one of the problems of the present day. It is something we must face in the immediate rather than the remote future.

The need to advise children leaving school is important. Because of the amount of advice available to pupils leaving primary schools, their efforts at facing life is a hit or miss matter. If there is a secondary school in the locality, they may be induced to go there. If there is a vocational school in the area, they may be induced to go there but if it happens, as it does at present throughout the country, that there are no vocational or secondary educational facilities available, then the child who is aged from 14 to 16 is open to all the influences which adult life brings to bear on children at a time when there is not the restraining influence of school. For that reason I would urge the Minister to consult the responsible authorities to see whether it would be possible to make available to children in the final year of primary school some kind of guidance or provide the type of room, of which I have spoken, for a year's continuation school. This would be a great benefit not only to the children but to the community as well.

In regard to primary schools, I am glad to note that the extension to the training college has been practically completed and that there will be an extra supply of teachers available not only for new schools as they fall to be filled but for a further lowering of the teacher-pupil ratio in the larger schools. Perhaps the Commission on Higher Education have referred to this—I hope they have—but I want to put to the Minister the necessity for extending the training course for teachers and linking it with the university. I do not think any complaint can be made against taking such a step. If we are to have, as the Minister envisages, a type of education whereby comprehensive schools will be located in different areas, does the Minister envisage that these will be filled by graduates or by people with technical qualifications in subjects peculiarly attached to the technical schools, or does he envisage that the primary teachers who at present have not had the advantage of a university year should not be available to carry on that type of work?

Not alone would I advocate the extension of the training college course to the third year but to the fourth-year and I would link that with the course for the higher diploma in education in the university. That is something that might be contemplated. Certainly the extension of the training course and linking it with the university course should loom large in any plans which the Minister may have for improving primary education.

In regard to the supply of teachers, I hope the Minister is bearing in mind the question of teachers who are still untrained. This question arose away back and I noticed recently that in a reply to a question the Minister did not feel able to make any comment on the position inasmuch as the matter is the subject of arbitration at present. However, the figures which the Minister gave revealed that we still have the problem of having to employ teachers who have not been trained. I know that this is linked with the question of teacher supply but I would suggest to the Minister that these people should get the opportunity of being trained. If they have worked in schools for some years—and some of them have worked for many years— then what they did not get in the training colleges they have got by experience. Those who are under the ten-year period in the schools and who have proved themselves suitable should get the opportunity of being trained and of obtaining their place in the educational system.

If the Minister were in a position, as was envisaged some years ago, to supply the schools with sufficient trained teachers, this problem would not arise, but for as long as it becomes necessary to employ people other than those who have been trained, we will have an obligation to them. If they take up employment in the schools, they should not be regarded as Cinderellas to be left without attaining their status in this profession or any other profession they might have taken up at the time they came into the schools. We should not deny to those who have been certified as suitable by the inspectors the scales applicable to the schools in which they work.

In regard to handicapped children, anything the Minister can do to speed the day when properly staffed schools will be available on a more widespread scale will be welcomed by the community who very laudably at present are doing a great amount of voluntary work to help these children. In some centres these children are being educated with encouraging results and it must be a great joy to their parents to find that where the veil of darkness had hung over them previously, something is now being done to educate and rehabilitate them as more useful members of the community to live more fruitful and more satisfying lives.

When we come to post-primary education, to which I have already referred, one of the needs at present is to give more status to the type of technical education which we are providing. Something which is lacking at present is a proper appreciation of how important it is that we should have a true respect for technical education. I often wonder if a snob value is not being attached to secondary education as against technical education. The outlook for the future is that if we are to enter the European Economic Community, we will be in competition with the native skills and traditions of the people with whom we will be brought into contact. That is going to apply equally to the skills and trades we traditionally practise in this country and consequently there will be a great necessity for trying to get our people to appreciate the value of and the necessity for technical education.

One of the things which the Apprenticeship Council has been doing is to lay down standards for the various trades. If we hope to compete in future, our people must have the higher technical skills they will need. The world is becoming very competitive at present and we cannot live in isolation. Our workers and technicians can survive only if the skills they demonstrate are of the highest order and for that reason we should try to attract the best possible teachers in this type of education. I was glad to see the Minister referred to this matter of whether more of our graduates could not be induced to specialise and perhaps take up this type of education.

I want to impress on the Minister the need to ask vocational education committees to speed up their plans to provide technical facilities. The higher technological colleges and institutes should follow that. That is a basic necessity. It will not be enough to take children up to a certain level in technical education. We must allow those who have the higher skills to proceed and specialise. That would be a distinct advantage to the country and the community. Giving status to technical education is important because, by some, it is at present regarded as being an inferior type of education. That mistake is being made at present and too many of our children are inclined to go on the basis of a secondary education and follow the more academic subjects whereas their latent skills should have determined that they would go through vocational or technical education. Anything the Minister can do in that regard is well worth doing.

On the other side, the spread of post-primary education must depend on secondary schools and therefore I should like to put to the Minister the question of the small school. He mentioned small schools already in the general context in regard to both primary schools and the concept of education generally, and in regard to putting pupils into larger schools. There is an advantage to be gained from a larger school which can afford more staff and greater diversity of subjects but what the Minister is putting up as a problem in regard to raising the school-leaving age will be equalled by the problem arising if we are to envisage the extension and advance of education as depending on larger schools. It is a fallacy to think that we cannot get from what we have at present that extension of education which is desirable.

The number of secondary schools in the country at large, according to the Minister's information, totals 573, both day schools and residential. There are 338 day schools as against 235 boarding schools. A most significant fact is that the schools catering for pupils numbering 150 or fewer number 336 secondary schools out of a total of 573. I plead for the same treatment for small schools as for large schools. The Minister must be aware that a majority of parents could not afford to send their children to residential schools and the larger day schools will only be available in the larger centres of the population. So far as rural areas are concerned, there must be a development based on the smaller type of school and we should do everything possible to encourage graduates to invest in education by setting up this type of school. We should make grants available to them and accept this as part of the educational fabric that we have at present and that we need to extend as one of our hopes for a quick expansion in education. If we were taking a long term view to secure that at the end of a certain time we would arrive at larger schools, the aims which the Minister set out in regard to the advance of larger schools would be valid, but if we are hoping for a rapid expansion of secondary education, we must not depend on the larger schools. Many generations of children will leave school without further advancing their education if we are to wait for the larger schools.

It may be appropriate to refer to the comprehensive schools. A certain amount of fear was created in the minds of those running existing schools in regard to what the comprehensive schools would mean and I was glad that the Minister today allayed those fears to a certain extent. The comprehensive schools will not compete with existing schools and they will be located where there is need for them at present, where secondary or vocational education is not available. I am sure the Minister and his Department will take due notice of views which are bound to be expressed locally in regard to these matters and also in regard to the location of the schools.

The small schools are providing education for a very small fee, education which would not otherwise be available. For that reason they are most valuable. In rural areas there is not the same fixed income for people who try to send their children to these schools and consequently fees are important for them. One thing the Department might consider is payment proportionate to the number of pupils and the number of teachers in these schools. If they consider the number of pupils, the number of teachers and the fees which are paid and if something could be done for the smaller schools, if only by giving some extra fee where teachers are employed, to meet this question of a basic salary, that would be useful. The Minister is aware that a certain basic figure is laid down and very often the small schools cannot meet that basic figure because they depend on small fees for their existence. It might be possible to do something in that way to encourage the retention of the teacher, to the advantage of the pupils and of the area concerned.

There is one thing which has struck me as requiring explanation. I do not understand it. Possibly the Minister may have a simple explanation. It arises out of the extension of the school year. Again, I am speaking, in the main, about the smaller schools because the position I refer to, naturally, will not arise in the case of residential schools. There is a minimum period of attendance for the purpose of the capitation grants. The extension by 30 days has sometimes meant that pupils in small schools qualify for a lower capitation grant. That happens in some cases, not by reason of the fact that the school is not operating but because of local circumstances. Weather or the season of the year are factors which may affect attendance. In the case of students who live in the country and who have to travel four or five miles to school by bicycle, the weather may affect attendance. In addition, the exigencies of work in the home, on the holding or farm may interfere with daily attendance at certain times. I wonder if these factors have been adverted to in regard to the raising of the number of days of attendance required for capitation grants.

In that respect I want to put a question to the Minister. The Department states that schools will be deemed to be in operation during the period of certain examinations. In future, the certificate examinations will not commence before 10th June. How does the Department envisage that schools will be kept in operation? How will a principal teacher be able to keep a school in operation and carry out house examinations of pupils who are not doing certificate examinations while at the same time some of his staff may be absent superintending examinations at other centres? These are some of the points that arise in relation to rural areas.

I understand that the rates being paid for attendances between 130 and 159 days are £15 for senior pupils, £11 for juniors and £8 for pupils under 12 years of age. That is reduced in the case of attendances being under 130 days to £13 for seniors, £9 for juniors and £6 for pupils under 12 years of age.

The raising of the school-leaving age creates a problem for smaller schools in rural areas. It must be remembered that the greatest struggle to obtain secondary education for their children is made by parents living in rural areas.

I wonder what role science is filling in the schools at the present time. Is it given more than its proportionate value? We realise that it is vitally important for the future of Ireland that science should be taught. Must every pupil of a secondary school be a scientist? Is science overweighted in the curriculum? We have scarcely reached the stage where vocal communication is less important than science. Certainly we could not teach science in the schools at the present time without teaching languages, say, Irish and English. Is there a sound basis for overweighting science?

It is absolutely necessary to have a review of the courses at present laid down. I am afraid our system of education tends to be one of cramming. There is quite an amount of talk and demand from time to time by various interests that this subject, that subject and the other subject ought to be included in the secondary school programme but I wonder how many people making these claims, among them parents, ever give thought to the problem as it affects their own child and the amount of time which the secondary school pupil spends in study. His life from 9 a.m. until 10.30 p.m. or later is a round of study, starting with his work at school and continuing late into the night with the homework which is necessary for the very extended courses being pursued. This is a matter that the Minister, in consultation with the teaching bodies, must discuss.

At present we are training children to remember details. That is largely indulged in. Many of these details are unnecessary. We do not train the children to think for themselves. We cannot do it if we are trying to do the two things. If there is insistence on children remembering details so as to answer examination questions then it is quite clear that we cannot afford to spend time in teaching them to think for themselves in regard to the problems that they will meet. We ought in the secondary schools give more time to debates. Teachers who have to contend with long courses cannot find time for debate. Even in the literature courses they cannot find time to deal with reading outside that prescribed. Public speaking is an important matter. It is still important to teach young people how to express themselves properly and to speak well. That is very necessary in any system of secondary education.

If a child's mind is crammed with facts, that is not much use if the child cannot express himself properly. In the facts with which the child's mind has been crammed we are in a number of cases storing up lumber which will be forgotten when the child leaves the secondary school.

As the Minister has said, education is a systematic training for life. We should ask ourselves if the system of secondary education that we have prepares children sufficiently for the life ahead of them. Decorum is still a hallmark of education. We must continually revise our ideas to move with the times.

There are a few points that strike one with regard to secondary education which might be worthy of consideration as between the Minister and his officials and the representatives of the teaching bodies. For instance, why should not a pass and honours paper be available to a student? Why should not a student be able to get on the day of examination the pass and honours paper? If he can get an Irish and an English version of a paper why should not he get a pass and honours paper and be entitled to take his choice on the day of examination? Very often a child in signing at an earlier stage for the paper which he will do is not fully aware of his own capabilities. That point should be considered.

Another point worthy of consideration is the question of history and geography. In the Intermediate Certificate examination, history and geography are made a single subject. Is there any reason why we could not make each of them a subject? In regard to history, more choice should be left to the teachers as to the courses which they will pursue. Generally speaking, the amount of time available for the study of history—and this again applies to the primary schools—is not sufficient to enable the child to form a proper appreciation of a period of history. For instance, in regard to the scholarship examination which takes place in the primary schools at Easter of each year, leaving out holidays there is only the period from September to Easter of the following year to do a course of history. If I am to judge by the history paper which was set for this year's scholarship examination, the children are expected in that rather restricted length of time to express opinions on periods in history. However, I intend to refer later on to the question of papers generally. I would prefer to see the courses shortened rather than that the children should forget much of what they have learned. A high standard of elocution is something at which we should also aim.

Our approach to modern languages, particularly French, is all wrong. I am sure the Minister will not like to hear me saying that but I believe it to be true. The usual time spent in studying French before a child sits for the Intermediate Certificate Examination is three years. After that period, the child is expected, for instance, to have an appreciation of French poetry, and very often the poems are ill-chosen. Many people, including French people, have been horrified at the choice of poems for our schools.

There are many authors whose work is simple and is suitable for study by children with such an elementary knowledge of the language. As in the case of Irish, the prime aim ought to be the acquisition of a working vocabulary. If they have a good vocabulary, they will develop a love for the literature of France and may decide later on to engage in further study of that literature. However, to force difficult texts upon them before they are capable of understanding them will only succeed in making the child hate the language. We ought to take note of the fact that there is a lack of suitable French texts, particularly in the junior classes.

Has any thought been given to the type of courses, in English, for instance, pursued in secondary schools? Students pursue courses in relation to which there is no time whatsoever allowed for general reading. There are boys and girls obtaining honours in Leaving Certificate examinations and if you were to ask them about some of the modern authors like O'Casey, Joyce, Frank O'Connor, Synge or Tolstoi, they would say they had never heard of them. There ought to be at least a half an hour a week for discussion on some book or play that has been read in free time by the class. The courses have been the same for a number of years. Instead of time being given to the reading of Bacon and Ruskin in archaic language, some study should be made of modern authors such as those I have mentioned.

Shakespeare is one of the great standbys of secondary education. However, we ought to drop the system of questions as to who said this and who said that. There are no standards for comprehension in regard to the texts concerned. It is a question of cramming. There ought to be more questions based on comprehension. We might look into the English system of specialising. Why could we not have in the 5th year in our secondary schools a good matriculation standard and then proceed in the 6th year to the leaving certificate with more specialisation. perhaps, in four subjects which would fit the student for any course at the university? In the 5th year in the secondary school, career guidance ought to be given. If students receive that type of guidance then, they should be able to determine the specialist courses to which they will proceed in 6th year. At present we are trying to do too much about too many subjects at too high a level, and the results are not good.

Might I suggest to the Minister in connection with what he has already said about the use being made of Telefis Éireann in the teaching of physics in the schools, that this medium could be used to further advantage in relation to other subjects taught in the secondary schools? It could be used in the teaching of geography, a subject which lends itself admirably to television. It could also help in regard to our native language, in regard to English, history, and so on. If it is intended to do that, discussions ought to be held with the group of people qualified in the particular branch that is to be dealt with.

Physical education is something about which we have not been able to do much. We are behind the other countries of Western Europe in this regard. Would the Minister consider making finance available for the erection of a gymnasium in schools and for the provision of equipment which would enable physical exercises to be carried out to the mental and physical advantage of the children?

The extension of libraries in the primary schools leads one to ask why not extend this service to secondary schools to enable the students to broaden their reading? In the 5th year some career guidance might be given to them and they might be advised as to the type of reading they should do in that year.

Nowadays the majority of parents, knowing the advantage of education, are trying to send their children to university. I was hoping that the Minister might have been able to give us some indication as to what extension of university facilities will be made available throughout the country and, if I mention Limerick in this context, I do so without any fear of being regarded as parochial. Limerick is eminently suited from the point of view of an extension of university education, particularly when one remembers the existence of the training college there for teachers. If the Minister envisages linking the training of teachers to university education, then Limerick ought to be a must. Apart from that, there are large numbers of students in the area and there would be no dearth of support for a university in Limerick. This matter has been raised before. I raise it again now to impress on the Minister that there is a legitimate claim and, in any extension of university education, the needs of Limerick should not be overlooked.

With regard to university education in general, in their first year, students are in need of some guidance and direction. Entering university is their introduction to adult life and I think it ought to be the duty of the university authorities to provide guidance for students in their first year. This is the year in which students suddenly find themselves on their own and very often this is the year in which, being on their own, they do not as readily appreciate the necessity for a continuance of study. Another point is that general knowledge should not be dropped. Students should not be segregated in their first year into specialised courses of study. Even if they intend to pursue a specialised course in medicine, law, or something else, they ought equally to pursue a general course in their first year. This is done in one of our universities. It is something that would be of great advantage to the students and the pursuing of such a course in the first year would relieve the boredom which often afflicts students.

I should also like to see a greater interest taken in their material comfort. We have not the advantage of having a residential university in which amenities are provided for students in their leisure hours. The provision of such amenities is very necessary. It could pay a dividend from the point of view of the students generally. If the Minister could encourage the university authorities to take a more active interest in the welfare of the students outside of the lecture rooms, it would be of great advantage to all concerned and ultimately to the advantage of the country generally.

The system of education is a good one but it does need to be kept under constant review. One of the things that should be avoided in both primary and secondary schools is any attempt at cramming. The standard of examination set to test the level of ability of students ought to be in keeping, as the Minister said, with their age group and their facility in expressing themselves. In that connection I fear a great many teachers must have been disappointed with the papers set in the primary schools this year. I refer in particular to the English paper. Five subjects were offered for a choice of essay. I mention them in the hope that there will be in future a more realistic approach and also in the hope that there will not be a repetition of the boredom from which examiners are bound to suffer in correcting these papers. The children were asked to write on a music festival. I wonder how many Deputies would like to write on a music festival.

Thurles!

Possibly, but the things one would write might not be things that would please. Another essay was "The Library". That is a subject for an adult student, and only an adult student. What ideas could a child of 12½ or 13½ have on a library? Another was "Being Careful on the Roads." While we try to inculcate the necessity for road safety, writing a formal essay on the subject would tax the ingenuity of any child. I do not think these subjects should have been set for children in the primary schools.

The Minister's interest in an examination into all these matters is not before its time. The language in the set piece was rather stilted and high-flown. Certainly the powers of comprehension of any child would have been well tested where the set piece is concerned. We have been told that formal grammar is no longer a subject in the primary schools. How frustrated must the children have been? Question No. 10 on the paper was a sentence which read: "The building, which had appeared oddly shaped from a distance, revealed itself on closer approach as a ruin". The children were expected to pick out the main clause and then state whether the remaining clauses did the work of a noun, an adverb or an adjective. After that, they were asked to parse various words. Remembering what I have already said about the Irish paper, we should ensure that we do not frustrate the children at the end of their school career.

Again, one of the questions in the arithmetic paper is ambiguous. It would not present any difficulty to an adult, but we must remember we are dealing with children from 12½ to 13½ years of age. Such questions that would be ambiguous to the youthful mind should not appear on the paper.

In the scholarship papers as they appear this year, there is a sub-section of a history question dealing with the modern history of Ireland from the Rising of 1916. I do not mind the second portion of it which deals with the names of five men who signed the Proclamation, but it goes on to ask: "How did the aims of the leaders of the Rising differ from those of John Redmond's Party?" I think that is asking too much from the children in that age group. I make no apology for saying that. How many children pursue a course of education extending over nine months of history? It would require an adult to answer such a question. There is not much sense in setting that type of question. Therefore, the Minister's review of the standards is timely. It can do nothing but benefit the system of education.

I am sorry if I have delayed the House inordinately long on these matters. I should like to refer again to the need for the Minister's review. I would call the attention of the House to the mental arithmetic paper where the child is expected to do 20 questions in 30 minutes without being allowed to make any calculations. You find that the child is faced with doing this sum in fractions: 1?×¾-?. I will leave it to the House to deal with that in a minute and a half!

Mr. O'Leary

I wish to congratulate the Minister on his appointment to what must be the most exciting position in this Government. But it is also the position that calls for the greatest moral courage if the job before us of improving our educational system is to be achieved. Our national ego is most sensitive on this matter of education. I was sorry to see the Minister turning a little in this direction when he said in his speech that we were often charged with being behindhand in educational matters when we were in fact well abreast and sometimes even ahead of other countries. Any of the international reports I have read on the subject do not suggest to me that our educational system, taken as a whole, can compare favourably with any other advanced European country. Even judged on the criterion of the availability of education, our system stands condemned because it is not available to children unless there is financial backing to open the gates for them.

When we in the Labour Party looked into the expenditure on education in a research group in 1963, we discovered that we spend £6 per head per annum on education, while Northern Ireland spends £12 per head, Britain £13 and Scotland £19. Therefore, even in these islands, we are at the very bottom of the table in regard to expenditure on education.

In this Estimate we learn we will have 20,000 post-primary secondary school scholarships and something like 2,000 university scholarships by 1970. Again, this is unsatisfactory on the criterion of education being available to all children irrespective of the financial means of their parents. These scholarships are infinitesimal in comparison with the number of children looking for higher education. They are inadequate to meet the need. In the scholarships we have at present, which vary between county and county as to income level, we have the paradox that you would need to be financially well off to avail of them to go to the university. Until we provide scholarships that give adequate maintenance grants, we cannot make education fully available to those who cannot pay for it. It is going to require a lot of moral courage if this problem of bringing our educational system up-to-date in this respect is to be resolved.

We think the Department of Education must play a far stronger role than it has played in the past. It must try to break down this compartmentalisation of our education into vocational, secondary, primary and university—all being more or less separate realms within the State and all closing their eyes to the other's areas of education. It would be a help in this direction if the Department would set up a body truly representative of the educational interests in the country that could come to the realistic decisions seen to be necessary.

There has been a certain ferment of late on the issue of education. Practically everybody talks about how necessary it is. The Minister therefore will have a good deal of public opinion behind him in any steps he may take to improve the educational system. He will have to do something about school buildings, many of which are falling into disrepair, and about providing larger schools.

The Minister has told us that he is well on his way to providing certain of the comprehensive schools. The secondary school system is a very difficult one for which to legislate on purely rational grounds. In our study we discovered that, of the 111 recognised secondary schools in Dublin city and county, only two had more than 600 pupils each. That means in Dublin city and county there is an over-concentration of small secondary schools and in other parts of the country there are too few. It means that secondary schools are set up, not on any rational basis, but for reasons seemingly beyond rational conjecture. The sufferers are the children in the different parts of the country where for reasons of geographical location there are no secondary schools, while in certain urban areas there are too many secondary schools which are not large enough to cater for the number of entrants. The Department surely must be given powers to look into this matter and to cut out the duplication and waste of finance.

The school medical services could be extended to children over 15 years in secondary and vocational schools. We believe also that dental care should be very much stressed in the health programme. The Minister for Health last week gave some very alarming figures about dental caries in children. This is quite understandable when, at the moment, in the health services in schools there is really no advice given to children in regard to dental hygiene. Neither is there a great deal of care paid to this matter of health in respect of the primary schools. Much more care should be given to it in our whole educational system.

The Minister has referred to the introduction of a civics course very shortly. I had hoped we would have had much more information on the actual content of this. I hope that this civics course will have a bearing on the life of the country as it is lived at the moment. I hope we will not merely have the kind of civics course which consists in telling people to keep off the grass or a list of negative precepts. I hope it will refer to the institutions that have developed at the moment like the trade unions, employers' organisations, new industries that are coming in with all the consequent changes that have occurred in this country.

I do not intend to go into the same detail as Deputy Jones in regard to the school curriculum. I believe the teaching of history itself should be brought up to date. History teaching to children in the schools should not stress too much the Battle of Benburb but should come very much nearer to our own day. Children should be taught more about what happened in the 1930's. If children were taught more about what happened at that time, they would be much more interested in it than in the pageantry of the Battle of Benburb.

There are too many secondary schools in certain areas and too few in other areas. Therefore, an inducement should be held out to schools in areas where there are too many schools to amalgamate, with the object of providing enlarged schools. More secondary schools should be provided in areas where they do not exist at the moment. Some secondary schools unfortunately set out to cater for a particular professional class, if you like. They cut out ordinary pupils for reasons that can only be called those of snobbery. There are some schools in Dublin which do this and the Department should look into it. It has come to my knowledge that boys have been refused admission to some secondary schools for very obscure reasons, to put it mildly.

There must be some extension of transport in rural areas to get the pupils to schools. The days of the one-teacher school are gone and the future lies with the larger schools which can specialise more. Transport must be provided to these schools. The high pupil-teacher ratio in schools is another matter which will have to be tackled. The report of the Council of Education on Primary Schools said there should not be more than 25 pupils in a one-teacher school and in two-teacher schools 30 pupils to each teacher. They said in other cases the figure should not be more than 35. The number of pupils in schools in Dublin at the moment is far in excess of the ratio in the Council's report.

I should like to see also an extension of parents' interest in schools. While it is agreed that parents can look after the education of their children, in actual practice the parents at the moment do not take much interest in their local schools. There does not seem to be much machinery in existence to enable parents to take a really constructive part in school affairs. This is a great pity and the Department should suggest that committees of parents should be set up in the country to consult with the managers about improvements in the schools. Such committees would be of tremendous assistance on local problems like traffic control around schools and in many other respects. In fact, this would be a great means of getting parents to take an interest in the education of their children and to give more constructive participation than they have at the moment. They do not appear to have any definite function in the education of their children at the moment. We would suggest that they should be brought into more constructive contact with the schools.

The vocational schools are doing a tremendous job but in some of the schools the subjects being taught run the risk of becoming obsolete in the future. Industry is changing so rapidly that some of the subjects being taught in vocational schools are becoming out of date. We should provide more operational know-how in all these schools rather than the manual dexterity which is being provided at the moment. Automation and other things are coming into industry and in the future we will need more technical know-how in regard to these matters.

It is planned, of course, that the technological education will be looked after under the Government plans in the future. I wish these plans could be formulated and something done without any great delay. In Dublin city we have technological schools at Bolton Street and Kevin Street. Bolton Street School is in my own constituency. There is gross overcrowding in it and there are many students who want to attend it but who cannot be catered for there. Therefore, it means that in the city of Dublin, between Kevin Street and Bolton Street Schools, students looking for higher technological education cannot be catered for. The result is that people who could benefit from education of that sort cannot receive it. The vocational teachers association, looking at this situation, considered that 3,500 more people could benefit from higher technological education, if it were available. This is something we need to take out of the planning stages as rapidly as we can and bring to fulfilment this matter of technological training.

There is another matter which the Minister should consider, that is, the provision of nursery schools in urban areas. They have provided very excellent nursery school facilities in England and other countries. Many more mothers now go to work in urban areas and will continue to do so. We must make facilities available to have their children looked after. We should try to provide in Dublin and other urban areas the same facilities as are provided in Great Britain and other countries as rapidly as possible.

We should have more emphasis on modern authors in our English teaching in schools. The basic prose authors used in our schools are mostly 18th century English authors. We have many excellent Irish masters of 18th century prose, such as Dean Swift and Wolfe Tone and surely we should use them rather than Johnson, Addison and others. The writers nearer home would be of much more interest to Irish pupils. At the present moment we are celebrating the Yeats Centenary. How many of our school children know anything more about Yeats than the Lake Isle of Innisfree? We should have a course in the schools which would really make children proud of their heritage in Anglo-Irish literature.

Much has been said about language laboratories. We must certainly concentrate far more on continental languages. We must concentrate on learning our own language but we must also concentrate on continental languages which will be necessary if this country is to play its full part in the modern world. I think the time has come in this matter of language teaching when less emphasis should be placed on Latin and Greek in our educational system. If the study of Latin and Greek in our secondary schools means the exclusion of the study of French or German, then certainly we must not consider that Latin and Greek should take priority. Those remarks apply save in the case of students who want to go forward to a classical education or students who intend to go for the Church for whom facilities could always be made available. We must consider the modern continental language to be most important. In this, we should be following a trend that has taken place in other countries of Europe.

In the old days, it was considered that the classical languages gave one a greater insight into the romance languages but, in these fast-moving times, if our object is to learn a continental language, our approach must in the first place be towards French or German.

Above all, we must look after the status of our teachers in the improvement of any educational system. I think it can be said that the status of our teachers has suffered in recent years by comparison with other elements in our community. It is only by fully rewarding people who go in for the exacting career of teaching that the community can show its gratitude to the men and women who take up this vocation. It demands a great deal of dedication to do the job properly. We should look at their conditions of service and see to it that we raise them to the level of reward that should properly be given to these people.

We should make re-entry into our own teaching service easier for graduates who have gone to Britain. Their service in Britain should be considered so as to add to their service in this country; it should not be ignored.

We should extend the physical training facilities available in our schools. It is very important that our children should have their physical needs looked after and that they should be properly developed physically as well as mentally. Too much, in the past, we have relegated physical training to unimaginative drill and marching in the school yard. The future health of our community is of some importance. Physical training needs more specialised attention than it is getting and it is to be noted that it receives that extra attention in other countries in Europe.

I do not know if the Minister will consider this but I should like if we would look carefully at the example the Scandinavian countries offer in the way of facilities for higher adult education. Through no fault of their own, many adults in our country had no education higher than the primary school. At the moment, the Department offer them no facilities for a further advance of their education. In the Scandinavian countries, there are State loans available to any adult who wishes to improve himself later in life. The need in our country is very strong because of the very bad educational system we still have. With a school-leaving age of 14, many of our adults must lead crippled lives, intellectually. The Department of Education would do a really good job by making loans available to adults who wish to continue their education at nights, at evening classes, and so on.

Another matter which is not looked after at the moment and which has been referred to here is a proper system of vocational guidance for higher education opportunities for children in primary schools, if it is available to them, and for the right kind of job at other levels of our educational system. Despite our realisation that the economy becomes more complex, there is very little advice to children about job openings or career opportunities. It is left on a hit or miss basis. This is extremely unjust to the child and can lead to not using to the utmost the full talents of a child for its own benefit and for that of the community.

I should imagine that part of this undue complacency and this sensitivity which our national ego experiences when we look at education arises because our educational system in all essential respects was established in a tradition based and grounded on the humanities before the 20th century technological revolution burst upon us. There has been little substantial change, whatever talk there may now be of changing, in the curricula of our educational system since the scientific revolution at the beginning of the century. When we realise that recent figures show that only 65 per cent of boys sitting for the Leaving Certificate have studied one science subject we get some idea of the magnitude of the educational deficit we are left with because of this lack of emphasis on science in our educational system.

Whilst the Minister talks about language laboratories and other important matters, he does not, to my mind at any rate, emphasise this glaring defect in our educational system which suffers from lack of emphasis on science and its importance in today's world. In our primary schools, science education is non-existent and so we can take it that the vast majority of our population are completely ignorant of the basic physical laws, of the chemical elements and of the basics of biology. This shows itself throughout the country in all walks of national life. One result is that there is a lack of technical "know-how" in Ireland.

We hear a lot about a greater necessity for industrialisation. This is thought purely as a matter of financial interest but an equally important requirement is a well-trained and rapidly adaptable labour force available for any industrial development in the country. It is true that we have a surplus labour force but the technical skills necessary in modern productive techniques are not there purely because of the kind of educational system which we have.

The foreign investor comes in to provide employment but he can provide it only for the lower grades. For the higher grades involving technical skills he brings in foreigners. Therefore, in a typical foreign investment factory, we get the unskilled jobs manned by Irishmen and the skilled jobs manned by foreigners. Usually, therefore, he does not take the alternative of sending Irish workers abroad to undergo a costly training course to improve their skills but imports the foreign skills and leaves the Irish worker with the skill as he found it.

The OECD reports have commented on the poor scientific training in our schools. It is to be hoped that in regard to the technological colleges which are supposed to be set up in the near future, the Government will no longer delay in making provision for extra colleges. There are only two at the moment, one in Bolton Street and one in Kevin Street. There must be more higher technological education facilities to ensure that more boys can avail of this type of education. In the United States they have long equated prosperity with the level of this type of education. As we know, the Labour Government in Britain has stressed the importance of scientific education in today's modern economy.

One of the penalties of our lack of attention to the importance of science in our education system, and our planners will realise that this is one of the penalties to be paid for our lack of attention to this important matter, will be that we will not obtain a scientific and technological awareness throughout our population. It will take some time, and many plans for industrial advance and extension on the drawing board at the moment will be held up precisely because of the shortage of trained manpower with a scientific background. One of the culprits in this lack of awareness, in the lack of planned drive to increase the scientific health and facilities throughout our educational system, must be the failure of successive administrations in this country to fully realise its importance in this second half of the 20th century.

Admittedly, the setting up of the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards was a help but it is purely a drop in the ocean compared with what will be necessary. In the universities, there is scientific inquiry, investigation and research but it is hampered by lack of funds and lack of co-ordination from the top. Whilst there is a small amount of development work going on in industry, there is a complete lack and virtual non-existence of applied research work at the moment.

By and large in Irish industry the goal appears to be to plan for the immediate future and to ignore this long-term and more essential job of applied research. Most industries in this country are top-heavy with administrators and often where the firm is one of a world chain, we find that while part of the Irish profits are set aside for research and development, the actual research is undertaken abroad, not at home. Again, we have the case that Irish research by Irish scientists is not given a boost forward. We can say that, as happens at the moment, if funds for research must come from an ordinary budget because of the lack of an immediate return for money from this particular area, the installing of, say, a new laboratory will take precedence over actual research work in any typical research college. For example, if a finance committee of a university is given this sort of alternative, it will always take the more elementary extension of facilities, like the introduction of increased laboratory space, rather than sink the cash in more applied research.

They would, more or less, plump for a first year laboratory in preference to going ahead with more research. If, for example, the choice before a board of directors is between following up a promising line of research, that might not give a return for ten years, and increasing the advertising outlay, the board of directors will go for the advertising outlay and not for the particular path that has more to promise for the industrial advancement of this country. Our scientists, despite these handicaps and despite no encouragement from the Government, are making a big contribution and are working hard at this moment.

There are over 30 research groups at the moment who receive financial help from abroad. Often it must be said to our shame, such a research organisation will find it easier to get funds from abroad from an international institute than from this Government. If we consider how much cash we spend, by comparison with Norway, on scientific research, we would be more ashamed. In Norway, they spend something like £10 million. I do not know the exact figure here but I would hazard a guess that it is much below that figure.

Therefore, I would say in conclusion that a greater emphasis throughout our educational system is necessary on scientific teaching and training in our schools and universities. I would suggest to the Minister that as there is a new department of manpower in the Department of Industry and Commerce, he should designate a person in his Department to look after the matter of scientific research and scientific teaching in our schools generally. The subject is too important to be left as one of the things to be looked after under the general cloak of the Department of Education. It needs the singleminded effort of an individual to see that scientific training in all its aspects is followed through and given every incentive to expand without being faced with shortage of funds or lack of official encouragement.

I would also suggest to the Minister that he should co-operate with the Minister for Industry and Commerce in this regard. I would, therefore, suggest that the Estimates in regard to the teaching of research and the universities should be separated so that all finance for research is assessed by one body under this particular person to be designated by the Minister in his Department. We have too many Minister and we cannot have an extra Minister for science but we can have somebody designated solely to follow through improved science training facilities generally, who would be located in the Department of Education or the Department of Industry and Commerce. Either way, both of these Departments should co-operate in the exchange of ideas and information on this particular subject.

As I have said at length here, all of us in one way or another will suffer from this deficit in our educational system, this lack of scientific training and know-how that will reflect itself in our work force in the years ahead. In the past our educational system has founded itself completely on the study of the humanities. This provided a good flow of well educated civil servants for Government Departments in this country. From now on, in the second half of the 20th century, we need scientific know-how as we never needed it before. In Britain they are worried about a brain drain to the United States. Let us also be worried about a brain drain in our scientific category, both to Britain and to the United States. This is going on without protest and we should realise that the emigration of these qualified personnel means they are putting off the development of this economy further and further. It is not just the disappearance of one individual who is well trained. There is a deficit, the amount of cash that has gone into his education. The contribution that such people can give to industrial development in the future cannot be overestimated.

I would ask the new Minister for Education to take special care in this particular area of education. Other speakers pointed out the shortcomings with regard to education and I have referred briefly to some of these. But you could go on all day about this matter of education. I hope the Minister will pay special attention to this matter of scientific education. The Labour Party, feeling that the future economic advance is intimately tied up with the amount of scientific knowledge in the country, urges on him to concentrate on this area of scientific training, and also to fully utilise the amount of talent there is in the country, which would be only too glad to avail of all the educational opportunities, provided they were available.

I would ask the Minister to do all in his power to open the gates of education to all people with talent who can benefit from it. If that means, as it will mean, that the type of university graduate we will get in the future will be better, that is all to the good. He will be better because he will come from a university in which there is a real exchange of ideas. At present the problem is that the only way to get a university education is to pay for the courses. There is a sense of financial privilege. There is a great deal of conformity in the graduates who come from our universities. They come more or less from the same families, with more or less the same financial background, and they repeat the same ideas and prejudice, more or less parrotwise.

Let us make our university education an exchange of experiences between people of different classes. At the moment we have the tragic situation in which the child of working parents cannot hope to get a university education, unless his parents are extraordinary people who manage to put by some cash in present very high living conditions. Unless those parents are located in Dublin, Galway or Cork, even after they make tremendous sacrifices, a university education is not open to their children. Despite all the talk about advancing our economy and improving living conditions, unless education is made as free as air so that all our people may benefit from it according to their ability, we cannot say that this country has entered fully into the second part of the 20th century. We must rid our educational system of these shadows which Pádraic Pearse described as the murder machine nearly half a century ago.

I should like to add my voice to those of speakers before me in congratulating the new Minister on his appointment. I am very proud of the fact that in a small country such as ours this ministerial position has been filled by men of such high culture and education as the previous Minister, Deputy Hillery, and now Deputy Colley. I should also like to compliment Deputy O'Leary on his very eloquent speech. I agree with many of the points he made.

This is my maiden speech and it is no accident that I have waited for this Estimate to make it, because, to my mind, the education of our people within the next ten to 20 years will be a decisive factor in whether or not we are to survive in a highly competitive world.

It must be an accepted fact that he who purchases know-how must be the slave to him who sells it. Irish brains are as good as any in the world, and there is no doubt whatsoever, as has been proven, that with education the Irishman is capable of being as inventive in industry, as efficient in management, and as capable in politics or any other sphere of human endeavour, as anyone else. One hundred years ago the Irish emigrant arrived in America poverty-stricken and non-educated. His calling in life was to be the hewer of wood and the drawer of water. There is a well-known expression that the men who carried the hod built the railways of America. It is notable that in recent times a grandson of a poor Irish emigrant, who had received the blessing of education, became president of the United States of America, the late John F. Kennedy, who himself advocated earnestly and sincerely the importance of education.

I know we would all like to see education being made available to all our people, and recognised simply as a service rather than a luxury for the privileged few. I am satisfied that the Government have a very positive policy for increasing facilities for education and, in fact, have made tremendous strides within the past ten years. However, the particular aspect of education with which I should like to deal, and which I know would not cost the State an enormous sum of money and yet could mean tremendous progress in the education of our people, is our libraries.

I conducted considerable research recently into that aspect of education, and I should like to say to the House that I was very encouraged by what I saw. I was unaware until quite recently that the Irish were such avid readers, and by that I mean the Irish people, adults and children alike. In recent years greater importance has been attached to children's libraries. I went on a tour of these not so long ago and I spoke to some of the children I met. I asked some of the children how many books they read, and the average reply was: "One a fortnight". After school these children's libraries are literally thronged with children. I understand that with the advent of television the effect has been for children to read more rather than less. In fact I understand that after a recent television broadcast of Casement's funeral, books on Casement were asked for which were never asked for before by children.

Further research has led me to believe that the larger centralised library is far more successful than the smaller library, and I should like to see the authorities concentrating on the bigger central library. The advent of the mobile library has been a tremendous success and certainly congratulations to all those concerned with its inception are fully deserved. I understand there are mobile services in quite a few counties, and that one is starting shortly in Dublin city. To my mind, this is acting with great sense. There are no great overheads, no running at a loss, and the library can be brought wherever it is needed. It has already been shown that that service is well used and appreciated.

There has been tremendous co-operation between the Department of Education and the Department of Local Government, and the public library system is one example of two authorities combining for the benefit of children in particular. I should like to congratulate both Ministers and their staff. However, I should now like to deal with the part of the system which, in my opinion, is not right as it operates today, and I hope my criticism will be constructive, as it is intended to be.

I should like to see the Department fully exploiting the liaison which has long been established between public libraries and schools, and making whatever financial adjustments are necessary for this purpose through the Department of Local Government and the local authorities. There are many examples of this fine co-operation between teachers and librarians, so that it is almost invidious to mention one, but I am sure no one will object if I mention County Limerick since the work there has already been publicised.

Last year the Vote for school libraries in this Estimate amounted to £35,000. I see it is the same again this year. This served approximately 2,650 schools the year before and 1,350 this year. I understand there are still roughly about 2,300 schools which are still to be given collections of books. The value of these collections is in the region of £35 to £40 per school. This is totally inadequate and can be regarded only as a beginning. These collections have been given to schools outside Dublin city. However, in Dublin schools do not receive any grants from the Department for books. I realise that in a city like Dublin where you have so many children per school, £35 to £40 would not even be seen. In England the per capita grant is 7/- for library books. For a country with a population like that of England, this works out to be fairly expensive, but it is a token of the importance which the British Government attach to the public library.

I should like to see a situation develop in which local libraries throughout the country would be equipped to service all the schools within their area. I should like to see a liaison created and encouraged between the librarian and the school teacher. The teacher's right in book selection—and I emphasise this very strongly—must at all times be recognised and safeguarded. The responsibility of the librarian, in my view, would be to show the range of material currently available. Recently displays were given throughout the country. This again was another good example of interdepartmental co-operation, and I understand these exhibitions met with tremendous success and enthusiasm, particularly from school teachers.

Newspapers in this country appear to recognise the importance of libraries, particularly for children. They devoted considerable space to this subject in recent times, and I should like to congratulate them on the fact that they have shown such a responsible attitude towards young people. I am particularly pleased to be able to say this, particularly when newspapers in other parts of the world are under such heavy criticism for showing a considerable lack of social responsibility.

One thing I do regret, however, is the absence of publications of special interest to Irish children. In England they have a series of books called the Junior Heritage Series. These books describe in most picturesque from the cultural heritage these children enjoy. Surely we could have a series similar to these? After all, we have Cashel, New Grange, Dún an Óir and Glendalough, and surely everybody will agree that they are particularly interesting, both pictorially and in text content. The 1916 celebrations are being held next year but what books have been published?

Irish history books, with very few notable exceptions, are extremely poor and tend to be didactic. I have seen examples of English and other nations' history books for children which are well designed, colourful and interesting to the children because of the manner in which they are presented. Why must Irish children's history books be so severe and colourless? What is wrong with depicting in bright colour? While on the subject of colour, even the covers of a great many of these books are dull and uninteresting. Our children's literature could be summed up by saying that it shows no love of children and this is not true of the Irish character.

I understand the Government plan to reorganise the whole system of State help for publishing in Irish and that this review will cover not only the activities of An Gúm but also various schemes of grants paid to publishers and periodicals; that it is also the intention to push ahead with the provision of adequate supplies of texts, the making up of light comics and also, I am glad to say, the publishing of music and songs. What greater opportunity exists than this for the publishers and everybody concerned in this venture to use their imagination, to be imaginative, to call in, if necessary, someone who can give guidance on this aspect of publishing?

I should like to refer to a visit I paid to the library in Ballyfermot. I am quite aware that I am being complimentary in calling it a library. In fact it is a room in a shop and caters for adults only. I am aware that there is a primary school in Ballyfermot where more than 3,800 pupils attend. Of these, 1,600 are in the senior section, that is, between the ages of eight and 14 years. It is a matter of urgency that children such as these should have adequate library facilities. Young apprentices to various trades would dearly love to have a library to serve their needs in these areas. We often hear about the success of the man who comes up from scratch, whose parents could not afford to give him a good education, and who educates himself. In most instances it will be found that the facilities were there, by way of libraries, in particular, for that man to educate himself. However, in many areas in Ireland these facilities do not exist.

I suggest to Deputies that at the first opportunity they should visit their local libraries and hear the views of the librarians. I feel certain they would find that most of the views expressed by me today will be in the main supported by these librarians. We should quickly wake up to the situation that we need to finance and complete our library scheme. It is a most inexpensive item by comparison with the great good it can achieve. We must remember that when the present phase of industrialisation has been completed, education will be to the forefront of our priorities if we are to survive.

The Bolton Street Technical School, while long recognising the urgent need for a library service to serve its 83 different classes, had not been in a position to give an organised service until, in co-operation with the Dublin City Libraries Committee, it did so in December, 1963. A similar plan will, it is anticipated, serve Kevin Street College of Technology in its new building.

What about the new colleges of technology being planned, the new secondary schools, the new comprehensive schools? I hope libraries will be regarded as being as important as classrooms in these schools. In the past, little has been known about the library potential and the tendency was to regard a library as a place for light recreation. The library should be known as a source of information, integrated into the daily life of the community, tied closely to the work of the young farmer, the technician, the builder and the businessman.

Praise is due to the Library Council and to the grants scheme but I urge the Government to organise a campaign to stimulate local authorities to take advantage of the scheme more rapidly. To educate successfully without libraries is, in my opinion, impossible. The sooner a comprehensive scheme is examined and put on a par with the scheme operating in Limerick and certain other counties, which has been acknowledged as being very successful, the better it will be for all.

I should like to support Deputy O'Leary in his appeal for school transport for children in rural areas. It is not fair to any child that he should have to walk three or four miles to school.

Hear, hear.

A special grant, subject to a means test, should be given to those who win university scholarships from rural areas whose parents are not able to pay the extra cost of their digs in Dublin and other university cities. One point on which I disagree with Deputy O'Leary is his suggestion on the question of school instruction in civics. I submit that instruction in good citizenship is far more important than that children should be taught the part of civics dealing with our institutions. In this important matter we must put first things first. There is an urgent need to teach good citizenship in all our schools. I should like to see some of our industrialists who sponsor beer festivals and contribute big prizes at various race meetings considering the question of awarding scholarships. It would get them as much publicity and would do greater good to the community.

(South Tipperary): I think it is true to say that our educational system is under-capitalised and under-liberalised. Deputy O'Leary has given us figures of expenditure per head of the population as between this country, England, Northern Ireland and Scotland. We are all aware that for many years Scotland has had an excellent scholarship opportunity under the Carnegie system which has helped to place citizens of Scotland in high positions all over the world. Unfortunately, we have never had a benefactor of the Carnegie strain and Scotland is blessed in that respect.

While it is true that Government expenditure is lower here than in the rest of these islands, there are two facts of which we must take cognisance. One is that expenditure per capita in our national schools is reasonably good and compares fairly well with corresponding expenditure in Northern Ireland and Britain. It is in the field of secondary and university education that our Government expenditure falls down. Again, in mitigation of this, we must agree that we in this country have been more fortunate than they have been in Britain in respect of secondary education. For many years religious bodies here have helped considerably by providing education very cheaply for our children. As a people, we can never pay sufficient tribute to the various religious bodies in this country, particularly those associated with the nonresidential schools such as the Christian Brothers who have brought cheap education to thousands of our children. It is an excellent form of education and a form the benefits of which many people in responsible positions inside and outside the State enjoy.

Progress reported; Committee to sit again.