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Gaelscoil Phádraig – Turas Gaeltachta

July 7, 2011

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Teacher training course reform

July 7, 2011

HUNDREDS of prospective primary teachers could be ineligible for training courses under higher standards of maths, Irish and English being demanded by the profession.

The Teaching Council is proposing major rises in the minimum Leaving Certificate grades needed in all three subjects for entry to the main primary teacher-training degrees.

Most of the 1,000 or so school-leavers who begin Bachelor of Education (BEd) programmes each year perform well above existing requirements, but the planned changes could rule out hundreds more who still meet Central Applications Office (CAO) points requirements.

More than 21,000 people applied through CAO last year for places on 30 Level 8 education degrees, which are mostly filled by entrants to BEd courses at the four largest colleges of education, who needed at least 470 out of 600 CAO points last year.

While the entry requirements have to be set in consultation with Education Minister Ruairi Quinn, school students considering applying for BEd courses could now require the following grades in Leaving Certificate to be eligible:

* Maths: Higher level C3 or ordinary level A1 (currently only a D3 in ordinary or higher level maths is needed)

* Irish: Higher level B1 (up from a C3)

* English: Higher level B1 (up from ordinary level C3 or higher level D3).

A Teaching Council spokesperson said it is not planned to introduce the changes until autumn 2016, when the students who start second-level education next September will be sitting the Leaving Certificate.

An Irish-language admissions test would be mandatory for primary teaching or teaching the language at second level, while those who sat the Leaving Certificate more than five years before entry would have to take an admissions test to show their competence at literacy and numeracy.

As well as the aforementioned changes, alterations to the duration of courses are to be made.

Mr Quinn is due to confirm an extra year for BEd primary teaching degrees, bringing them to four years’ duration, and an extension of the Postgraduate Diploma in Education for second-level teachers to two years, when he publishes the national literacy and numeracy strategy tomorrow.

The changes for primary level are expected to take effect for entrants to courses next year and for those beginning second-level teaching programmes in 2014.

This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Thursday, July 07, 2011

Dianchúrsa Gaeilge do mhúinteoirí iar-bhunscoile Gaeltachta agus lán-Ghaeilge

July 6, 2011

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

Irish language must be valued

July 6, 2011

As a national school principal I worked hard over the years in trying to keep it to the forefront in as many ways as possible. It is a difficult thing to get students to realise the importance of their own language and to attain and keep their fluency. Much of that comes from the top down. A lot of the Government ministers don’t attach much importance to it. We had President Obama here and Queen Elizabeth II here and they used more Irish than many of our politicians would. We have a shyness about using our own language in public which needs to change. Encouragingly the language is getting more publicity and it is more to the forefront in recent years. However to get to a stage where a lot of people use it in the ordinary day is a problem. Schools have been falling down too in that it isn’t accorded much priority in a lot of schools.

With so many subjects to be done, some people might be questioning is it all that important but it is part of our heritage and part of what we are. No more than history and geography, both also now under threat at second level, Irish is so important in the development of a child. People often wonder how, after eight years in national school, someone might not leave with a certain amount of fluency but children follow the influences in the area and the influences at home. If they are supported at home and shown that it is important to learn the language, they pick up on that. They pick up the vibes and the attitudes. If they pick up that the parents don’t attach much importance every day, the children won’t take that step forward. Then, though, the child has to take that step forward themselves. That is the key moment, when he or she takes that step themselves in education as a whole. That applies to the Irish language as well. We’re fortunate here in that we’re very proud of the Irish language in Glenhest and of our place-names.

Maybe sometimes children are losing sight of the fact that we have something of value in our country. All the international influences are great but we have to have something to offer as well in terms our native language, our native games and all of that. We have an awful lot to offer, especially in this age where people feel disconnected. The Irish language has been a great part of my life in Castlebar and in Conradh na Gaeilge and all of that but I think that the Irish language can be a great connection with the past and with the future and we can do this and still accept and welcome all other cultures as well. We have something awfully valuable here and we can’t let it go. Beatha teanga í a labhairt. Seán Ó Cionfhaola was Principal of Cloondaff NS, Newport from 1965 until his retirement last Thursday. He is also a member of Conradh na Gaeilge.

The Mayo News – Seán Ó Cionfhaola

Raic leanúnach faoi Ghaelscoil i gCorcaigh

July 4, 2011

Sorry, this entry is only available in Irish.

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