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Shortage of Irish Teachers Cause of Concern for Gael Linn

Shortage of Irish Teachers Cause of Concern for Gael Linn
Gael Linn has serious concerns over the shortage of fully qualified teachers with necessary standards of Irish language. This problem is undermining the progress that has been made in the Irish medium sector and is also harming the teaching of Irish in English medium schools.
More teachers with the necessary qualifications are required to meet the demand in schools throughout the country and in secondary schools and in Gaelscoileanna in particular. The Irish medium sector is expanding nationally but a shortage of teachers with the requisite qualifications is impeding this growth.
According to figures published in The Irish Times (8.1.18), there has been a 62% decrease in the numbers applying to study secondary teacher training courses over the past 5 years in the Republic of Ireland (1,068 applications in 2007 compared with 2,824 in 2011). Also, a survey carried out by Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA) shows that 90% of the 2,800 schools they represent are having difficulties recruiting fully qualified teachers as well as substitute teachers. It is widely understood that the Irish language is particularly affected by this shortage.
The shortage of Irish teachers is clearly detrimental to the promotion of the Irish language and there is also a concern that the status of the Irish language as a core-subject may be brought into question.
Gael Linn is concerned that schools may be forced to employ teachers who are not qualified to teach Irish nor teach through the medium of Irish. Gael Linn call upon The Department of Education and Skills and The Teaching Council to engage in more effective planning for the provision of teachers of Irish.
Although the situation in secondary schools in the North is not the same, a shortage of qualified teachers is hampering the development of Irish medium education in the North also.
Gael Linn are calling on the relevant authorities to work to resolve this situation as a matter of urgency.
Further Information:
Réamonn Ó Ciaráin, Gael Linn
eolas@gael-linn.ie 00353 (1) 6751200

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