Dáil Éireann - Volume 523 - 10 October, 2000
Written Answers. - Educational Facilities for Non-Nationals.
Mr. Stanton Mr. Stanton
237. Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Education and Science the educational facilities available to asylum seekers and refugees, including English language classes; the numbers involved; the future plans for such courses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21341/00]
Dr. Woods Dr. Woods
Minister for Education and Science (Dr. Woods): No distinction is made between asylum seekers and refugees or other categories of non-nationals at primary or post primary levels where provision of resources is concerned. At primary level an additional appointment is sanctioned in the case of schools, which have fifteen or more non-national pupils enrolled, to cater for their English language needs. To date 62 teachers have been sanctioned for this purpose. Primary schools having less than fifteen non-national pupils may be paid grants to enable the school authorities to employ teachers on a part-time basis to provide English language support.
At second level the authorities of individual schools or vocational education committees may apply for support for additional teaching hours in  respect of non-national students having significant English language deficits. In the current school year, 21 whole-time equivalent posts have been provided for this purpose.
My Department supports the refugee language support unit in Trinity College and this unit is responsible for the delivery of English language courses for adult refugees as well as the training of teachers for non-national students, the preparation of teaching materials and the devising of new English language programmes for non-national persons.
With regard to the numbers of non-national persons participating in the programmes mentioned, I will communicate this information to the Deputy when the data have been compiled fully by my Department. Assuming that the question refers to FÁS courses, my Department will liaise with the relevant Department in order that the appropriate information is provided.
The provision of support for the education of non-national persons is kept under continuous review and there will be a major review of the functioning of the refugee language support unit in March, 2001, when the unit has completed a two-year pilot phase.
Dáil Éireann 523 Written Answers. Educational Facilities for Non-Nationals.