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Teaching Qualifications

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 6 April 2022

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Ceisteanna (109)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

109. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Education if students on a course (details supplied) could be given an option to carry out a two-week Gaeltacht immersion session required for their course online or in the Gaeltacht considering the high number of Covid 19 cases at present; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18593/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Under the Teaching Council Standards for initial teacher education (ITE) at primary, all student teachers must complete a 4 week Gaeltacht learning period (GLP) (2x 2 weeks) as part of their programme. This is compulsory in order to graduate. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the traditional Gaeltacht learning periods could not go ahead as planned and the Department and Teaching Council agreed that these could take place online. This ensured that there were no barriers to students completing their ITE programme and graduating as planned in 2020 and 2021. While the online alternative programme worked well, the shared aim of all stakeholders was to return to a normal in person GLP as soon as possible.

While the primary responsibility for the overall administration of Gaeltacht-based Irish language courses rests with the relevant Gaeltacht college authorities – both my Department and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (D/TCAGSM) together play a key role in overall support of the sector. My Department has had a number of meetings with D/TCAGSM, the Teaching Council, representatives from the HEIs and CONCOS (the representative body for Gaeltacht colleges) in recent days and the shared aim of all stakeholders continues to be for the normal in person Gaeltacht placement to take place this Easter.

The Tréimshe Foghlama sa Ghaeltacht is a rich immersive experience that forms part of the overall requirements for programmes of primary initial teacher education. My Department and the D/TCAGSM has confirmed to the HEIs and CONCOS that there is no public health advice to prevent Irish language courses from being run for student teachers in the Gaeltacht at Easter and it is expected the normal in person GLP will be provided.

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