Dáil Éireann - Volume 437 - 16 December, 1993
Written Answers. - Applications for Honoraria.
Dr. Upton Dr. Upton
195. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Education the name of the vocational education committee referred to in her reply to Parliamentary Question No. 118 of 9 December 1993, which her Department has been in communication with in relation to applications for honoraria by rural science teachers employed by this vocational education committee which did not satisfy the prescribed criteria for payment of these honoraria; the number of teachers who have applications still under consideration; the total amount of money involved; and the criteria which were not satisfied.
Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach) Niamh Bhreathnach
Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): County Clare vocational education committee is the vocational education committee in question. Claims were submitted in respect of nine teachers. The maximum amount of the honorarium was £657 per teacher per annum with effect from 1 September 1991, increased to £676 with effect from 1 March 1992. The criteria which were not satisfied were those set out in Circular Letter 5/48.
In accordance with the terms of Circular Letter 5/48, an honorarium may be paid to any rural science teacher who, in the opinion of my Department's Inspectors,  has given adequate attention to the following matters:—
(a) the organisation and development within the school area of adult evening classes (discussion groups) in Agricultural science; (b) the development of the school garden as an educational medium and particularly the use made of it for experimental and demonstration purposes.
Other factors which are taken into account in determining the amount of the award, if any, which may be sanctioned include, in so far as the resources of the school and the circumstances of the locality allow, whether — (a) a public lecture scheme was undertaken by the teacher; (b) seed testing and home garden schemes were carried out satisfactorily.
Claims were submitted by the vocational education committee in respect of nine Rural Science teachers. The vocational education committee requested my Department's sanction for the payment of the full honorarium to each teacher. The hours claimed by individual teachers varied from approximately 27 hours 30 minutes to 192 hours. The claims submitted did not have sufficient detailed information to enable my Department to decide whether payment of the honorarium or a proportionate amount was warranted. For example, some of the claims did not specify dates and times of the nature of the activity.
Clarification on these matters and certification by the Principals were sought.
Claims, duly authenticated, were re-submitted but, in a number of cases, the details on the number of hours involved differ from those on the original claim. This has given rise to further queries.
I wish to assure the Deputy that my Department is anxious to finalise this matter without further undue delay. Payment of the appropriate amount will be approved provided my Department is satisfied that the payment is warranted having regard to the terms of Circular Letter 5/48.
Dáil Éireann 437 Written Answers. Applications for Honoraria.