Thursday, 1 February 2018

Ceisteanna (13)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

13. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aindrias Moynihan den Aire Oideachais agus Scileanna cén dul chun cinn atá déanta chun a chinntiú go mbeidh dóthain múinteoirí le Gaeilge ar fáil chun na hábhair scoile éagsúla a mhúineadh; agus an ndéanfaidh sé ráiteas ina thaobh. [2913/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Oral answers (6 contributions) (Ceist ar Education)

One of the aims of the Department's policy on Gaeltacht education in the period 2017 to 2022 is to increase the supply of newly qualified teachers with the competence to deliver high quality Irish medium education in schools, particularly in Gaeltacht school settings. The policy also seeks to improve the quality of teaching through Irish to ensure existing teachers' Irish language proficiency and pedagogical knowledge, skills and competence will be enhanced to a level that will equip them to deliver high quality Irish medium education. In that context, the Department has been working with the Office of Government Procurement, OGP, to develop a request for tenders for the design and delivery of two new Irish medium teacher education programmes, comprising a full-time four-year Irish medium initial teacher education B.Ed. primary teaching programme and a part-time two-year Irish medium M.Ed. postgraduate blended learning programme. It is expected that the successful tenderers will be announced in the coming weeks. The M.Ed. programme which will provide up to 30 places annually is due to commence from September 2018, while the B.Ed programme, also with up to 30 places annually, is due to commence from September 2019.

Also in implementing the policy, the Department made arrangements for the secondment from September 2017 of two additional teaching posts to the Máistir Gairmiúil san Oideachas, MGO, programme at the National University of Ireland, Galway, NUIG, which is an Irish medium post-primary ITE programme. This initiative will allow for an increase in the supply of Irish medium post-primary teachers through a range of measures, including the upskilling of student teachers, outreach, online and blended learning opportunities in the second year of the programme.

I will shortly announce the establishment of a teacher supply steering group to consider teacher supply issues at primary and post-primary level, including the provision of adequate numbers of teachers in key subject areas such as Irish.

Gabhaim buíochas leis an Aire. Tá an-bhrú ar na scoileanna Gaeltachta agus, gan dabht, ar Ghaelscoileanna timpeall na tíre chun teacht ar mhúinteoirí sna hábhair éagsúla. Go rialta bíonn orthu post a fhógairt trí huaire sula bhfaigheann siad aon iarrthóir. Tuigim go bhfuil an cúrsa sin á ullmhú ag an Aire, ach caithfidh sé a aithint go bhfuil an t-éileamh ann le fada agus go bhfuil an gá ann anois chun na múinteoirí sin a bheith ar fáil dóibh. Luaigh an tAire an cúrsa nua atá á thabhairt chun cinn aige ach tá slua mór daltaí thart ar rang a trí sna bunscoileanna a bheidh istigh sa mheánscoil sula mbeidh na múinteoirí sin ar fáil. Tá gá ann cheana féin. An bhfuil an tAire tar éis féachaint ar an liúntas a bhí ann i gcomhar na múinteoirí a bhí ag múineadh sa Ghaeltacht nó ag múineadh trí Ghaolainn? Caithfidh sé féachaint ar shlí éigin chun na múinteoirí atá ann a mhealladh isteach sna scoileanna seo. Faoi láthair tá go leor múinteoirí ag fágáil na tíre agus ag dul go Dubai agus áiteanna eile. Caithfidh an tAire féachaint ar an liúntas sin agus dul chun cinn a dhéanamh leis. An bhfuil aon rud déanta maidir leis sin?

There is pressure on teachers, particularly Irish language teachers. We have acknowledged this by the development of the programmes I have outlined which will deliver places as rapidly as possible. Also, under the teacher supply initiative, we are considering the possibility of introducing upskilling conversion programmes for persons with the necessary skills. The Department is open to considering any suggestion for initiatives through the teacher supply group from Deputies or stakeholders as to how we could seek to resolve the issue of tightness through other initiatives.

An bhfuil an tAire ag féachaint ar an liúntas seo a bhí ar fáil i gcomhar múinteoirí Gaeltachta agus múinteoirí a bhí ag múineadh trí Ghaolainn? Ba chóir go mbeadh, mar chuirfeadh sé go mór le cúrsaí más féidir é a chur ar fáil arís chun daoine a mhealladh isteach. Faoi láthair, tá daoine ag fágáil na tíre agus ag múineadh in áiteanna eile thar lear toisc gur féidir leo breis airgid a dhéanamh. Seo uirlis amháin atá ar fáil. Chabhródh an continuing professional development, CPD, ach tá a fhios againn go bhfuil an brú seo ann le fada. Caithfidh iarracht phráinneach a bheith déanta chun múinteoirí a choimeád i gcomhar na hábhair éagsúla.

I was the first to introduce a Gaeltacht policy for schools in the Gaeltacht area. We are being very innovative in trying to provide support for schools which commit to following an immersion model of education. We are considering innovation, not only in providing extra teaching resource support through professional development but also e-hubs to ensure that where quality teaching is available, it can be distributed to other schools which can avail of specialist teaching through a cluster. We are trying to be innovative in this area but also to ensure we protect the equality of the language which had been under pressure. We are introducing this policy because we recognise there is pressure on the quality of teaching the language.

This debate will go on. Deputies Bernard J. Durkan and John Lahart have been waiting for a long time. With the agreement of the House, I will ask the Minister to give brief answers to their questions and allow them to ask one supplementary question each. Is that agreed? Agreed.