Dáil Éireann - Volume 586 - 25 May, 2004
Written Answers. - School Curriculum.
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
141. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Science his proposals for the promotion of the arts in schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15680/04]
Mr. N. Dempsey Mr. N. Dempsey
Mr. N. Dempsey: Music, the visual arts and drama provide for sensory, emotional, intellectual and creative enrichment and contribute to the young person’s holistic development and self esteem.
Arts education, visual arts, music and drama, is one of the seven subject areas that comprise the primary curriculum, which was revised in 1999. The primary curriculum support programme, PCSP, provides professional development support to teachers to assist them in implementing the curriculum. The PSCP is engaged in a wide range of support activities, including organising seminars for teachers, visiting schools and providing tailored support for individual schools and clusters of schools. Visual arts has already been implemented in schools.
The in-career development programme for music will take place in the school year 2004-05. All primary teachers will receive training in the new programme during that year. Teachers will begin to implement the programme during the following school year. In preparation for this roll-out, the PCSP has recruited a team and a supplementary panel of trainers for music and an assistant national co-ordinator who has particular responsibility for this team. The role of this team is to plan supports for the implementation of the music curriculum. These trainers are at present using the new methodologies in their own classrooms and sharing their experiences and expertise with the colleagues on the staff. They  also work closely with the education centre network in the provision of evening and summer courses. It is planned that inservice for drama will take place in the school year 2005-06 with implementation the following year.
To assist schools in buying the materials and resources necessary for the implementation of the visual arts curriculum, my Department issued a grant to all primary schools in autumn 2000, at a rate of 5.50 per pupil or, for schools with 60 pupils or fewer, a minimum of 330. In addition, in December 2000, a further 6.1 million was issued to support primary schools in their implementation of all aspects of arts education. This capitation grant amounts to 13 per pupil, or a minimum of 780 for schools with 60 pupils or fewer.
At post-primary level there are approved syllabuses for junior certificate in music and art, craft and design. In the senior cycle there are syllabuses in music and art. Modules in the arts are also available as part of the leaving certificate applied. In the transition year programme, schools offer a variety of modules which stimulate pupils’ interest in the arts in general and which, in many cases, give them the opportunity to interact with practising artists in their own classrooms and in other contexts.
The leaving certificate syllabus in music was revised for first examination in 1999. To ensure the satisfactory implementation of this syllabus, a comprehensive two-year programme of in-career development for teachers of music, was set in place. Further courses for teachers are provided on an ongoing basis. The assessment structure allows students to specialise in the component of the course best suited to their interests and ability. The broad range of performance options available to students has increased accessibility to the subject and allows for students of diverse music backgrounds to participate in the subject. Leaving certificate art is being revised by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.
Dáil Éireann 586 Written Answers. School Curriculum.