Dáil Éireann - Volume 280 - 30 April, 1975

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Remedial Teachers' Courses.

7. Mr. Power asked the Minister for Education if he will arrange that the in-service courses for remedial second level teachers will be continued during the coming year.

Mr. R. Burke: I will do my best to arrange accordingly but as I have already indicated the total provision for in-service courses is very much reduced in the present financial year.

[782] Mr. Wilson: Do I take it that the amount now available is about £12,000?

Mr. R. Burke: Yes.

Mr. Wilson: Does the Minister seriously think that any kind of course can be run on that kind of money?

Mr. R. Burke: Obviously, some courses can be run on the money.

Mr. Wilson: What is the Minister's estimate of the number of people who can be dealt with for that sum?

Mr. R. Burke: That would be a specific about which I would need to be advised particularly. For obvious reasons it will not be on the same scale as previous years.

Mr. Haughey: Could the Minister give us an indication of his estimate of the number of teachers who should be put through “in-service” courses?

Mr. R. Burke: Of a particular nature?

Mr. Haughey: What would the Minister regard as the ideal number to put through such a course every year so that ultimately we would get somewhere with this problem? Would the Minister relate that to the number of courses being provided this year? In other words, could the Minister give us some indication of what progress is being made with the problem?

Mr. R. Burke: Up to the present, that is over a number of years past, 160 teachers have taken this course and the number at present completing the training is 73, making a total of 233 out of approximately 9,000 to 10,000 teachers. That is the rate of progress we are making at present. Obviously, it is desirable to speed this up but, unfortunately, we cannot do it this year.

Mr. Wilson: Would the Minister agree with the statistic of roughly 25 per cent intake to post-primary schools as being the percentage needing remedial work? If so, would the Minister not agree that one-quarter of the [783] teaching force at least should have this type of training?

Mr. R. Burke: I would so agree. I would even say it was as high as one-third in some cases. Nobody need doubt my position in this matter.